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" Mr. BOXALL'S pages are very rich in interest and lucid in their 
information. The history of the bushrangers is a succession of fierce 
ontests and sudden death. To the ordinary man bushranging centres 
in the name of Kelly, and the chapters of Mr. BOXALL'S history which 
describe the audacities of the two brothers Dan and Ned in the 
seventies, are perhaps the cream of the book. In the last of the bush- 
rangers we lost a magnificent soldier ; he had the blood of a thousand 
terriers, and a certain grim humour too." Academy, 

" A very full and detailed history of the origin of bushranging, its 
development, and its gradual decrease." Bookman. 

" Mr. BOXALL'S volume about Australian bushrangers is not 
always agreeable reading, for it concerns the exploits of some of the 
most murderous and daring ruffians whose names are to be found in the 
annals of crime. It is a book, however, from which there is something 
to be learned, for it exemplifies in a remarkable degree the maxim 
that rough-and-ready methods of suppressing crime are apt to create the 
very evils which they are designed to abate. Daily News. 

" The author of this deeply-interesting book states in his preface 
that he has compiled it in the hope that it may be of service to future 
historians of Australia. Quite apart from that, however, it will appeal 
strongly to those who take an interest in the annals of crime and the 
daring of celebrated criminals." Daily Telegraph. 

" It is the encyclopaedia, history, and analysis of bushranging life, 
and could not well be more complete. If his story is as thorough as an 
encyclopaedia, it is vastly more interesting as crime and romantic facts 
always are. Uncommonly well done ; it amounts to 385 pages of 
attractive reading." Pall Mall Gazette, 

"We can cordially recommend this book as a sound book of 
reference agreeably put together." British Australasian. 

" Mr. BOXALL gives us a solid and impressive, and not a catch- 
penny nor sensational, work. He tells us, in strictly matter-of-fact 
manner, of the rise and collapse of bushranging in the various colonies 
where it had its brief life that is in Tasmania, New South Wales, and 
Victoria." Melbourne Arg*.,~ 




<t,.2 i*i 

"Why Massa Qubernor " said Black Jack "You Proflamation 
ill gammon, how blackfellow read him p eh ! He no read him 


book." ''Read that then," said the Governor, pointing to a picture. 

n ' 




Author of " The Anglo-Saxon, 
a Study in Evolution,' 1 etc., etc. 


FIRST EDITION, September, 1899. 
THIRD EDITION, May, 1908. 


In this story of the bushrangers I do not pretend to have 
included the names of all those who have at various times been 
called bushrangers in Australia. That, as will be seen from 
what I have said in the earlier chapters, would be not merely 
impossible but useless. I believe, however, that I have collected 
some particulars about all those who succeeded in winning even 
a local notoriety, and I have also endeavoured to supply such 
personal characteristics of the leaders in the movement as may 
throw some light on the causes which induced them to " take to 
the bush." My principal object, however, has been to make the 
picture as complete as possible, so that the magnitude of the 
social evil which the Australians set themselves to cure may be 
realised ; and it is generally believed in Australia that this cure 
has been so complete that bushranging will never again become 

The story is a terrible one. Some of the incidents related 
are no doubt revolting, but it is necessary that even these should 
be told to show how civilised man may be degraded by unjust 
and oppressive laws. We are all creatures of the educational 
influences to which we are subjected in our youth, and therefore 
it is unfair to blame the earlier bushrangers ; because they were 
the products of the civilisation of their day, and were not them- 
selves responsible. But sensational as the story is, its tendency 
is rather to depress than to exhilarate the reader, for the story 
is a sad one, in that it shows a deplorable waste of what under 
happier conditions might have been useful lives. As a rule I 


have adhered very closely to the newspaper reports of the time, 
but to make the story (which naturally tends to be scrappy and 
disconnected) as homogeneous and continuous as possible, I 
have followed one gang to the close of its career, and then 
returneu to take up the history of another gang. I have paid 
special attention to the geography of the country, and the 
reader who possesses a fairly good map of each of the colonies 
should have no difficulty in following the movements of each of 
the gangs, and may thus obtain an idea of the extent of the 
area over which it operated. 

Hitherto the histories of Australia have passed very lightly 
over the bushrangers, but there can be no doubt that they 
exercised some influence, and not always for evil, for to their 
influence is due some of the sturdy Republicanism of the 
modern Australians. The publication of this story may 
perhaps assist the future historian in tracing the growth of 
public opinion in Australia, and will therefore not be without 
its use. It is in this hope that I submit it to the public. 

G. E. B. 


Reports of the Select Committees of the House of Commons on Trans- 
portation, Sessions 1837 and 1838: Chapters I., II., in., iv. 

Report of the Special Commission of Enquiry into the state of the Colony 
of New South Wales. By John Thomas Biggc, 1822 and 1823 : 
Chapters I., II., iv. 

Despatches of Governors Macquarie, Bourke, Sorell, Arthur, Franklin, 
Denison, Latrobe, &c., to the Colonial Office: Chapters I., n., m., 

IV., XII. 

History of Van Diemen's Land, from 1820 to 1835. Anonymous. 

Chapters I., n. 

History of Bendigo. By George Mackay. Chapter XII. 
The Last of the Tasmanians. By James Bonwick, F.R.G.S. Chapter II. 
The Spectator. Chapter IX. 
Hobart Ttnun Gauttt. Chapters I., II., III. 
Hobart Town Courier and Murray's Review. Chapters I.. H., VI., X, 

XI., XV. 

Colonial Timts. Chapters X., XI., XV. 
Cornwall Ckronitlt. Chapters I., II., III., VI., IX., X., XI. 
Launceston Advertiser. Chapters :., II., VI., IX., X 
I. ounces ton Examiner. Chapters vi., IX., XI. 
Sydney Gatette. Chapters i., IV., VI., VII. 
Sydney Monitor. Chapters I., IV. 
Sydney Australian. Chapters I., IT. 
Sydney Morning Herald. Chapters V., V7., VH., VIII. IT., XV., XVI,, 

Melbourne Argut. Chapters IV., xin., XIV., XV., XXI., XXV., xxvm. , 


Port Phillip Herald. Chapters VI., VII., vill. 
Geelong Advertiser. Chapters XII., XIII., xiv., XV. 
Melbourne Herald. Chapters XII., Xiv., xv. 
Melbourne Age. Chapters xxix., xxx., XXXI. 
South Australian Register. Chapters vin., XXIV. 
Brisbane Courier. Chapter XXVH. 
New Zealand Herald. Chapter XXVI. 

The quotations from numerous provincial papers acknowledged in 
the text have been taken at second hand, principally from the metropolitan 
papers of the colony referred to, and which are included in this list. 



CHAPTER I. Characteristics of the Convicts sent to 
Australia ; Bushranging ; Origin and Meaning of 
the Term ; The Cat and the Double Cat ; Condition 
of the Prisoners ; Some Terrible Revelations ; The 
Desperation of Despair ; Some Flogging Stories ; 
The Bushranging Act and its Abuses ; Some 
Opinions of the Magistrates ; Savage Treatment of 
Criminals Continued to the Present Time ; Brutality 
not Cured by Brutal Punishment ; When Bush- 
ranging First Began I 

CHAPTER II. Van Diemen's Land ; The First Bush- 
ranger ; Mike Howe, the King of the Ranges ; The 
Raid on the Blacks ; The Black War ; Musquito ; 
Outrages by the Blacks ; Brutal Treatment of the 
Blacks by Bushrangers ; A War of Reprisals ; 
Gigantic Scheme to Capture the Blacks ; A Cordon 
Drawn Round the Disaffected District ; Details 
of the Scheme ; Its Failure ; Only Two Blacks 
Captured ; Estimated Cost ; Fate of the Blacks . 17 

CHAPTER III. Pierce the Cannibal ; A Terrible Journey ; 
A Shocking Confession ; Escapes from the Western 
Hell ; The Ruffian Jefferies ; Brady the Bush- 
ranger ; Escapes from Macquarie Harbour : Sticks 
up the Town of Sorell ; The Governor's Proclama- 
tion ; Brady Laughs at it ; The Fight with Captain 
Balfour ; Betrayed by a Comrade ; Captured by 
John Batman ; Sympathy at his Trial ; End of the 
Epoch 33 



CHAPTER IV. Bushranging in New South Wales ; Manu- 
facturing Bushrangers ; Employing Bushrangers ; 
The First Bank Robbery in Australia ; Major Mudie 
and his Assigned Servants ; Terrible Hollow ; 
Murder of Dr. Wardell ; The Story of Jack the 
Rammer ; Hall, Mayne and Others .... 48 

CHAPTER V. John Lynch ; Murder of Kearns Land- 
regan ; Lynch's Trial and Sentence ; His Terrible 
Confession ; Murder of the Frazers, Father and 
Son ; Murder and Cremation of the Mulligans ; 
His Appeals to Almighty God .... 60 

CHAPTER VI. Jackey Jackey, the Gentleman Bush- 
ranger ; His Dispute with Paddy Curran ; Some 
Legends About Him ; Jackey Jackey Always Well 
Dressed and Mounted ; His Capture at Bungendore ; 
His Escape at Bargo Brush ; Jackey Jackey visits 
Sydney ; His Capture by Miss Gray ; Paddy 
Curran's Fight with the Police : Recaptured and 
Hung ; John Wright Threatens to Make a Clean 
Sweep 71 

CHAPTER VII. The Jewboy Gang; "Come and Shoot 
the Bushrangers ; " Constable Refuses to Leave 
his Work to Hunt Bushrangers ; Saved by his 
Wife ; Robberies in Maitland ; Bushrangers in 
High Hats ; The Bullock-driver Captures the 
Bushrangers ; An Attempt to Reach the Dutch 
Settlements ; Mr. E. D. Day Captures the Gang ; 
Assigned Servants' Attempt at Bushranging ; Some 
Other Gangs 82 

CHAPTER VIII. Bushranging in South Australia ; The 
Robbers Captured in Melbourne ; A Remarkable 
Raid in Port Phillip ; Going Out for a Fight with 
the Bushrangers ; A Bloody Battle ; Cashan and 
Mclntyre ; The Fight with the Mail Passengers ; 
Cashan Escapes from the Lock-up ; Is Recaptured ; 
Mclntyre Caught at Gammon Plains ... 95 



CHAPTER IX. Bushrangers and Pirates ; Capture of 
H.M. Brig Cyprus by Bushrangers ; A Piratical 
Voyage ; Stealing the Schooners Edward and 
Waterwitch; Mutiny of Prisoners on H.M. Brig 
Governor Phillip at Norfolk Island ; The Trial of 
the Mutineers at Sydney; How Captain Boyle 
Recaptured the Vessel 103 

CHAPTER X. Van Diemen's Land Again ; A Hunt for 
Bushrangers in the Mountains ; Some Brutal 
Attacks ; " Stand ! " " No, thanks, I'm very Com- 
fortable Sitting ; " A Degrading Exhibition ; A 
Determined Judge ; Cash, Kavanagh, and Jones, 
an Enterprising Firm ; The Art of Politeness as 
Exhibited by Bushrangers ; A Bushranger Hunt 
in the Streets of Hobart Town ; The Capture of 
Cash ; Break Up of the Gang ; a Doubtful Mercy 1 1 1 

CHAPTER XL Norfolk Island ; Its Founding as a Penal 
Station ; The Terrible Discipline in Norfolk Island ; 
An Attempt to Ameliorate it ; Its Failure ; The 
Rigorous Treatment Restored ; The Consequent 
Riot ; Jackey Jackey's Revenge ; An Unparalleled 
Tale of Ferocity ; The Soldiers Overawe the 
Rioters ; Thirteen Condemned to the Gallows ; 
Jackey Jackey's Remarkable Letter ; The End of 
Several Notorious Bushrangers . . . .124 

CHAPTER XII. The Third Epoch of Bushranging; 
The Gold Digging Era ; Influx of Convicts from 
Van Diemen's Land ; Passing of the Criminals' 
Influx Prevention Act ; Attitude of the Diggers 
Towards the Bushrangers and other Thieves ; The 
Nelson Gold Robbery ; Some Pitiful Stories ; A 
Rapid Raid; Insecurity of the Melbourne Streets 134 

CHAPTER XIIL Captain Melville Takes to the Road; 
He Ties and Robs Eighteen Men ; He Goes to 


Geelong for a Spree and Boasts of his Exploits ; His 
Sensational Capture ; Sent to the Hulks ; Murder of 
Corporal Owens ; Melville Removed from the Hulk 
Success to the Gaol ; Murder of Mr. John Price, 
and Mutiny of the Convicts ; Melville Attacks Mr. 
Wintle ; Death of the Noted Bushranger . . 148 

CHAPTER XIV. Murder of a Bullock-driver; Sticking 
Up in the Melbourne Streets ; Stealing jioo,ooo in 
Bank Notes ; Want of Efficient Police Protection ; 
Murders and Robberies at Ballarat, Bendigo, Mount 
Alexander, and other Diggings ; The Robbery of 
the Mclvor Gold Escort ; A Bushranger Intimidated 
by a Bottle of Brandy ; Robbery of the Bank of 
Victoria at Ballarat ; Capture of Garrett in London ; 
Prevalence of Horse Stealing; The Doctor's 
"Creamy" Iff 

CHAPTER XV. An Escape from Norfolk Island; Stealing 
a Government Boat ; The Convicts of New South 
Wales ; A Terrible Indictment ; Thomas Willmore ; 
Murder of Philip Alger ; Murder of Malachi Daly ; 
Fight Between Two Bushrangers ; Hunting Down 
Willmore ; His Capture While Asleep ; The Last of 
the Van Diemen's Land Bushangers ; Wilson and 
Dido ; Some Minor Offenders ; An Unfounded 
Charge ; A Change of Name to Rid the Island of 
Evil Associations 173 

CHAPTER XVI. The New Bushranging Era; Fallacy 
of the Belief that Highwaymen Rob the Rich to 
Enrich the Poor; The Cattle Duffers and Horse 
Planters; The Riot at Lambing Flat; Frank 
Gardiner, the Butcher ; Charged with Obtaining 
Beasts "On the Cross," He Abandons His 
Butcher's Shop ; Efforts to Establish a Reign of 
Terror in the District ; A Letter from Gardiner ; 
The Great Escort Robbery 1 88 



CHAPTER XVII. Johnny Gilbert ; His First Appearance 
in Australia ; Miscellaneous Bushranging Exploits ; 
Mr. Robert Lowe Makes a Stand ; Mr. Inspector 
Norton Captured by the Bushrangers ; A Plucky 
Black Boy ; " Mine Know it, Patsy Daly Like it, 
Brudder;" A Brave Boy; O'Meally Shoots Mr. 
Barnes ; A Bootless Bushranger ; Capture of John 
Foley ; Something about the Foley Family ; Ben 
Hall 205 

CHAPTER XVIII. Racers as Mounts for the Bush- 
rangers ; The Shooting of Lowry ; The Bush- 
rangers Visit Bathurst ; They Hold the Town 
of Canowindra for Three Days ; Burke Shot by 
Mr. Keightley ; Female Bushrangers ; Death of 
O'Meally at Goimbla ; A Newspaper Man and 
His Wife Stuck up; Lively Times During the 
Christmas Holidays 218 

CHAPTER XIX. A Heavy Sessions at Goulburn; Ben 
Hall Hard Pushed ; An Amateur Mail Robber ; 
Discovery of Frank Gardiner ; His Trial and 
Sentence ; The Old Man ; A Brush with the Police j 
The Chinkies Show Fight ; Messrs. Hall & Co. Take 
a Lease of the Main Southern Road ; Capture of 
Mount and Dunleavy ; Johnny Dunn ; A Desperate 
Duel and Death of Sergeant Parry ; A Country Ball 
and Its Sequel ......... 232 

CHAPTER XX. Meeting the Gold Escort ; Murder of 
Constable Nelson; A Brush with the Police; 
Attempt to Stick up the Araluen Escort ; Death 
of Constable Kelly, and Pluck of Constable Burns ; 
Sir Frederick Pottinger Resigns; Death of Ben 
Hall ; A Sketch of His Life ; Death of Johnny 
Gilbert; Record of Johany Dun* and the Gang; 
Capture and Trial of Dunn ; His Execution ; Fate 
of the Chief Members of the Gang . . . 346 



CHAPTER XXI. Boodthirsty Morgan ; Morgan's 
Opinion of the Police ; Murder of Sergeant 
McGinnerty ; Murder at the Round Hill Station ; 
A Pseudo Morgan ; Morgan Threatens to Brand 
All Hands ; He Shoots Sergeant Smyth ; Chal- 
lenged to Visit Victoria ; He Accepts the 
Challenge; His Death at Peechelba . . . 258 

CHAPTER XXII. The Brothers Clarke ; The Raid at 
Nerigundah ; Deaths of William Fletcher and 
Constable O'Grady ; Murder of Four Special 
Constables at Jinden ; Annie Clarke at Goulburn ; 
Capture of Thomas and John Clarke ; A Terrible 
Record ; A Plucky Woman ; An Attempt to 
Escape Custody ; " Shoot Away I Can't Stop 
You"; Some Daring Robberies; Murder and 
Cremation of the Brothers Pohlmann ; Blue Cap 269 

CHAPTER XXIII. Bushranging in the Northern District 
of New South Wales ; Captain Thunderbolt Robs 
the Toll-bar ; A Chinaman Bushranger ; A Long 
Chase ; A Fight with the Police ; "Next, Please"; 
The Bushranger Rutherford ; Captain Thunder- 
bolt and the German Band ; Desperate Duel 
between Captain Thunderbolt and Constable 
Walker ; Thunderbolt's Death .... 287 

CHAPTKR XXIV. Bushranging in the Wild Paroo ; 
A Raid into South Australia ; A Relic of the 
Bushranging Era ; Agitation for the Release of 
Gardiner ; Official Reports as to Twenty-four 
Bushrangers Still in Gaol ; The Cases of Gardiner 
and William Brookman ; Gardiner and the other 
Bushrangers Released ; Gardiner leaves the 
Country . . . 304 

CHAPTER XXV. Bushranging in Victoria ; Robert 
Bourke ; Harry Power ; He Escapes from Pentridge 



Gaol and Sticks up the Mail ; An Amateur Bush- 
ranger ; The Police Hunt Power Down and Capture 
Him Asleep ; A Peacock as " Watch Dog ; " The 
Power Procession at Beechworth ; The Trial of 
Power ; His Sentence ; Engaged to Lecture on 
Board the Success ; His Death . . . .315 

CHAPTER XXVI. Bushranging in New Zealand ; Alleged 
Fears of the Escort being Robbed ; The First Bush- 
ranger ; Henry Beresford Garrett ; The Maun- 
gapatau Murders ; Arrest of Sullivan, Kelly, Burgess, 
and Levy in Nelson ; Sullivan's Confession ; The 
Discovery of the Bodies ; Sullivan's Release . . 326 

CHAPTER XXVI I. Bushranging in Queensland ; Some 
Bushrangers from Over the Southern Border ; A 
Bogus Ben Hall ; The Wild Scotchman ; Queens- 
land's Only Bushranger ; A Man of Many Aliases ; 
He Goes to Fight a Duel with Sir Frederick 
Pottinger ; He Escapes from the Steamer ; Re- 
captured and Tried 335 

CHAPTER XXVIII. Captain Moonlite; The "Reverend 
Gentleman" Robs the Bank and Nearly Makes His 
Escape ; He Breaks Out of Ballarat Gaol ; He 
Becomes a Reformed Character ; He Sticks up the 
Wantabadgery Station ; A Desperate Battle with 
the Police ; His Young Companions in Crime ; 
Sentenced to Death ; The Wild Horse Hunters 
Turn Bushrangers ; An Abortive Attempt to Rob 
a Bank . 341 

CHAPTER XXIX. The Kelly Gang; Horse-Stealing a 
Great Industry of the District ; Faking the Brands ; 
Assault on Constable Fitzpatrick ; The Bush 
Telegraphs ; Murder of Sergeant Kennedy and 
Constables Scanlon and Lonergan ; Sticking Up 
of the Faithfull Creek Station ; Robbery of the 
National Bank at Euroa; A Big Haul . . . 353 



CHAPTER XXX. The Kellys Stick op the Town of 
Jerilderie ; Robbery of the Bank of New South 
Wales ; A Symposium in the Royal Hotel ; A Three- 
days' Spree ; " Hurrah for the Good Old Times of 
Morgan and Ben Hall " ; The Robbers rake a Rest 
for a Year ; The Kelly Sympathisers Again ; The 
Kelly's Reappear ; Murder of Aaron Sherritt . . 365 

CHAPTER XXXI. Fight between the Police and the 
Bushrangers at Glenrowan ; The Railway Torn 
Up ; Attempt to Wreck the Police Train ; The 
Glenrowan Inn Besieged ; Ned Kelly in Armour ; 
His Capture ; The Burning of the Inn ; Death 
of Dan Kelly, Steve Hart, and Joe Byrnes ; Trial 
and Conviction of Ned Kelly ; His Death ; The 
Kelly Show; Decrease of Crime in the Colonies. 377 

INDEX .......... 386 


Introductory ; Characteristics of the Convicts Sent to Australia ; Bush- 
ranging : Origin and Meaning of the Term ; The Cat and the 
Double Cat ; Condition of the Prisoners : Soine Terrible Revela- 
tions ; The Desperation of Despair ; Some Flogging Stories ; The 
Bushranging Act and Its Abuses ; Opinions of the Magistrates ; 
Savage Treatment of Criminals Continued to the Present Time ; 
Brutality not Cured by Brutal Punishment ; Where Bushranging 
First Began. 

THE species of brigandage known in Australia as bush- 
ranging was, without doubt, evolved, more or less directly, 
from the convict system established as the basis of the 
earlier settlements in the island continent. The first bush- 
rangers were simply men who took to the bush to escape 
work and enjoy freedom of action. Under the harsh laws 
of the Georgian era the greater criminals were hung, and 
not transported, and the convicts sent to " Botany Bay," in 
the eighteenth and the earlier years of the nineteenth cen- 
turies, were generally men to whom the trammels of the 
civilisation of their day were irksome. Many of them were 
political agitators, industrial rioters, and machine-breakers. 
The others were poachers and similarly comparatively mild 
offenders against the laws, who, under the present laws of Great 
Britain, would be sufficiently punished with a few months' 
imprisonment. Many of these men, when they were removed 
to a new land where the social conditions did not press so 
heavily on them, became honest and reputable citizens, and, 
perhaps, but for the harsh treatment they were subjected to, 
numbers of others who were driven to continue their fight 
against authority, might also have lived quiet and useful 
lives. This subject is a very delicate one, and it is not my 
intention to pursue it further here ; but if it could be fully 


treated without giving offence to numbers of worthy and, in 
some cases, justly honoured residents of Australia, some 
very valuable lessons might be learned from the histories of 
some of those families whose founders could not live in 
England without offending against the laws, but who could 
and did earn the respect of their fellow colonists in Australia 
who were not " sent out." 

The student of history in Australia is reminded, per- 
haps more forcibly than his fellow in England, that the 
humanitarian spirit, now so distinguishing a trait in the 
Anglo-Saxon character, is of very recent growth. Under 
the operation of this new force the criminal law of England 
was rapidly softened and ameliorated, and with every ad- 
vance in this direction the character of the convicts sent 
out to Australia steadily deteriorated, if I may so describe 
the process. With every alteration in the law a fresh class 
of criminal was transported, and these with few exceptions 
would, a few months before, have been hung. At first, 
pickpockets, then sheep and horse-stealers, forgers and 
others, who had previously only escaped the gallows in rare 
instances, when they could find some influential friend to 
take sufficient interest in them to plead their cause, were 
now transported as a matter of course. This process con- 
tinued until transportation ceased, and as the last batch of 
prisoners sent out was presumably the worst, having been 
guilty of more heinous crimes than their predecessors, we 
are too apt to judge the earlier convicts harshly from our 
knowledge of the later ones. The general effect was that 
while, with the amelioration of the laws, crime steadily 
decreased in England, it just as steadily increased in 
Australia, and no doubt the worst criminals were trans- 
ported to Van Diemen's Land after transportation had 
ceased to New South Wales in 1842. The laws of England 
previously to the great changes made during the past sixty 
years seem to me to have operated, whether designedly or 
not, to clear the country of the disaffected and the dis- 
contented, rather than the criminal. How far the intro- 
duction of large numbers of this class into the country may 
have paved the way for modern advances in liberal govern- 
ment in Australia, is a question which it might be profitable 
to study ; but it only relates to the bushrangers so far as it 


enables us to account for the large number of men who 
" took to the bush." 

The earlier bushrangers seem to have been idle and 
dissolute, rather than criminal, characters. They watched 
for an opportunity to escape into a patch of scrub whenevei 
the eye of the sentry in charge of them was turned away, and 
the nature of the country was so favourable to this method 
of evasion that it constituted a continuous challenge to them 
to run away, and, almost incredible as it may appear now, 
numbers of men started northward or westward in hopes of 
reaching the Dutch or English settlements at Batavia, 
Singapore, Hong Kong, or some other place in that direction. 
It must be remembered that the majority of the working 
classes at the beginning of the century could not read and 
had no knowledge of geography. They had heard sailors 
speak of these settlements and had no idea that hundreds of 
miles of sea flowed between them and Australia. How many 
of these poor ignorant men lost their lives in the attempt 
to achieve the impossible cannot be said, but some terrible 
stories of cannibalism have been related in connection with 
this phase of bushranging. The majority of the " runaways," 
however, had no such definite ideas as these, erroneous as 
they may have been. They hoped to be able to live in 
freedom in the bush and to subsist on fruits, roots, or other 
native growths. Some few joined a tribe of blacks and 
stayed longer or shorter times with them; others simply 
wandered about until hunger drove them back ; while very 
many remained at large until they were captured, and these 
lived by stealing from farmers and other settlers any articles 
which could be eaten or sold. When one of these early 
bushrangers grew tired of his freedom he gave himself up at 
the nearest police station and received fifty lashes. The 
penalty for a second offence was twelve months in a chain 

There was no adequate system of classifying the convicts. 
It was the custom in advertising runaways to give the name 
of the man and that of the ship in which he was transported. 
Then followed the personal description, and that was all. 
It was admitted to be inconvenient, but no attempt appears 
to have been made to improve it Besides this, for adminis- 
tration purposes, convicts were divided into three classes 


according to their sentences. Thus there were men who 
had been transported for " seven " years, for " fourteen * 
years, or for " life." They were also classified as " young," 
" middle-aged," and " old," and usually the crime for which 
they had been transported was specified, but such a descrip- 
tion gave no indication of the character of the man. 
Finally they were divided into " town thieves," " rural 
labourers," and "gentlemen." This was a step in the right 
direction, but it was too vague to be of much use. The 
educated convicts were all classified as "gentlemen "whether 
they came from the towns or the rural districts.* It is worthy 
of note that the proportion of skilled labourers, or tradesmen 
as they are called, was very small. Very few men who had 
been apprenticed to a trade were among the convicts sent 
to Australia at any time. 

There were no regulations as to hours of work, and the 
severe taskmaster might work his assigned servants as many 
hours as he pleased. It was generally understood that 
Sunday was to be a holiday, or day of rest, but excuses were 
readily found for making the convicts work on this day, and 
this was a fruitful source of discontent. Very frequently 
men absconded on Saturday night, remained in the bush on 
Sunday, and returned on Monday to take the customary 
fifty lashes and resume work. 

If flogging is efficacious in preventing crime, it should 
have made the convict colonies the most virtuous places on 
earth, for the " cat " was in almost continuous use in New 
South Wales and in Van Diemen's Land. The " cat " 
generally used was the ordinary military or naval cat ; but 
" the cat used at Macquarie Harbour was a larger and 
heavier instrument than that used generally for the punish- 
ment of soldiers or sailors. It was called the thiefs cat, 
or double cat-o'-nine-tails. It had only the usual number 
of tails, but each of these was a double twist of whipcord, 
and each tail had nine knots. It was a very formidable 
instrument indeed."t How far the influence of this 
barbarous instrument of torture tended to make the 
prisoners at Macquarie Harbour the most reckless and 

* Evidence of Sir Francis Forbes, Chief Justice of New South Wales, 
ort of the Select Committee of the House of Commons, July, 1837. 
f Despatch from Governor Macquarie to Earl Batburst, June 28, 1813, 


ferocious of the convicts of Australia it is unnecessary to 
enquire, but there can be no doubt that its influence was for 
evil and not for good. It is with the ordinary " cat," with 
which England in these barbarous times flogged her 
defenders as ferociously as she did her prisoners, that we 
have to deal; and, frightful as the tortures were which 
were inflicted on the convicts, we have positive evidence 
that their lot was looked upon with envy by the soldiers 
who guarded them. Several soldiers in New South Wales 
deliberately committed crime so that they might be 
convicted, in the hope that, by good conduct, they might 
earn some of the indulgences open to convicts. The 
fact is that any prisoner who contrived, by obsequious- 
ness or in any other way, to make friends with art 
official, had his way made easy for him, while the 
independent, whether industrious or not, were ruthlessly 
persecuted until, in many cases, they were finally forced 
to the gallows. 

" The prisoners of all classes in Government are fed with 
the coarsest food ; governed with the most rigid discipline ; 
subjected to the stern, and frequently capricious and 
tyrannical will of an overseer; for the slightest offence 
(sometimes for none at all the victim of false accusation) 
brought before a magistrate, whom the Government has 
armed with the tremendous powers of a summary jurisdic- 
tion, and either flogged, or sentenced to solitary confinement, 
or retransported to an iron gang, where he must work in 
heavy irons, or to a penal settlement, where he will be 
ruled with a rod of iron. If assigned to a private individual 
he becomes a creature of chance. He may fall into the 
hands of a kind indulgent master, who will reward his 
fidelity with suitable acknowledgments ; but, in ninety-nine 
cases out of a hundred, he will find his employer suspicious, 
or whimsical, or a blockhead, not knowing good conduct 
from bad, or a despot, who treats him like a slave, cursing 
and abusing, and getting him flogged for no reasonable 
cause. He may be harassed to the very death he may be 
worked like a horse, and fed like a chameleon. The 
master, though not invested by law with uncontrolled power, 
has yet great authority, which may be abused in a thousand 
ways precluding redress. Even his legal power is sufficiently 


formidable. A single act of disobedience is a sufficient 
ground of complaint before the magistrate, and is always 
severely dealt with. But, besides the master's power, the 
prisoners are in some measure under a dominion to 
the free population at large ; any man can give him 
in charge without ceremony. If seen drunk, if seen 
tippling in the public-house, if met after hours in 
the street, if unable to pay his trifling debt, if imper- 
tinent the free man has nothing more to do than to 
send him to the watch-house, and get him punished. The 
poor prisoner is at the mercy of all men."* This appears 
to be a fair and unexaggerated statement of the conditions, 
and therefore it is little cause for wonder that the general 
tone of morality in the colony was low. Mr. J. T. Bigge 
says that "every opportunity was seized for cheating. When 
the convicts attended at the store to draw their weekly 
rations, supplies were frequently drawn for men not at work 
there. False lists of men employed in the various gangs 
were made out."t In fact, the Government of the Colony 
was a military despotism under which corruption was ram- 
pant, so that the authorities themselves set an example of 
immorality which the convicts were not slow to follow. 
"The police made a considerable revenue by blackmailing 
convicts who were in business."* Those who could pay 
were allowed to continue to enjoy a freedom to which they 
were not legally entitled, while those who would not, or 
could not, be blackmailed, to satisfy the exorbitant 
demands of the so-called custodians of the peace, speedily 
" got into trouble," and were prosecuted. It was said that 
if a man could escape from a country district and go to 
Sydney he might, if he could afford to dress well, pass as a 
free man without attracting attention. A blacksmith named 
Brady, assigned to Major James Mudie, of Castle Forbes, 
eluded the police in this way for nearly two years. He was 
recognised by a fellow convict, some time before he was 
captured, but this man "let him go for ^5." Such 

* Sydney Gazette, November ao, 1830. 

+ Commission of Enquiry into the state of the colony of New South 
Wales. 18.22. 

% Report of the Select Committee of the House of Commons on 
Tnui-p;)rtation, Ju'y, 1837. 


cases, however, were exceptions to the general rule. The 
majority of runaways went into the bush and not into the 
town, and the Sydney and Hobart Town Gazettes in early 
times contain numerous proclamations by the various 
governors calling upon all well disposed persons to assist 
the military in capturing runaways. Some of the issues of 
these Gazettes contain columns of the names and descrip- 
tions of persons variously styled " absconders," " absentees," 
" bolters," or " bushrangers." In these the term " bush- 
ranger " appears most frequently in New South Wales, while 
" bolter " was the more popular in Van Diemen's Land. The 
first bushrangers, therefore, were men who " took to the 
bush " to escape work, and therefore it was quite possible 
for a man to be a bushranger without committing any 
depredations on his more prosperous fellows. 

But laziness was not the sole cause of bushranging in 
early times. A more powerful impulse perhaps was dis- 
content, love of change. " One of the most common 
indications of the misery of convicts under existing circum- 
stances is a passionate desire for change of place ; and when 
serving considerate masters they are sometimes indulged in 
this by being transferred (though always as a sort of punish- 
ment) to their disadvantage. In other cases, however, the 
desire becomes so strong that they will steal, or commit 
some equal offence, expressly to be condemned to a road 
gang or penal settlement."* In fact the monotony of their 
lives became insupportable, even in those cases where they 
were not cruelly treated. Captain Maconochie cites cases 
of men who have so acted within a few months of their 
being entitled to a ticket-of-leave, and who have thus forfeited 
their chances of freedom in the near future. In some cases 
this was due to the " inhuman treatment " of the master. 
In one case a valuable servant a blacksmith whose time 
had nearly expired, was goaded into running away so that 
he might be condemned to a further term of service before 
obtaining his ticket-of-leave, and this was not an isolated 

"Generally," said Dr. J. D. Lang, "the condition of 

* Report by Captain Maconochie, forwarded to the Colonial Office by 
Sir John Franklin, October yth, 1837. 


the assigned servant in New South Wales is superioi to that 
of the farm labourer of England. He is better clothed, 
better fed, and as comfortably lodged. He is under 
personal restraint, not being allowed to leave his master's 
property without a pass, but he has many comforts and 
means of amusement which render his situation by no 
means irksome or severe."* But it was just this restraint 
which the persons with whom we are now dealing found 
intolerable. They had not the patience, the long-suffering 
resignation of the English farm labourer. Many of them 
had been English farm labourers and had found the 
conditions in which they lived intolerable, and when they 
realised that they had not very much improved these 
conditions by being sent to Australia, they rebelled again. 
" The experience furnished by the penal settlements," said 
Judge Forbes, " has proved that transportation is capable of 
being carried to an extreme of suffering such as to render 
death desirable, and to induce many prisoners to seek it 

under its most appalling aspects I have 

known cases in which it appeared that men had committed 
crimes at Norfolk Island, for the mere purpose of being sent 
to Sydney to be tried, and the cause of their desiring to be so 
sent was to avoid the state of endurance in which they were 

placed in Norfolk Island." Several cases 

occurred in which " men at Norfolk Island cut the heads of 
their fellow-prisoners with the hoe while at work, with the 
certainty of being detected, and the certainty of being 
executed. They did this without malice, and when charged 
said it was better to be hung than to live in such a hell."t 
Sir Richard Bourke said : " Capital crimes have been 
committed in that penal settlement from a desperate 
determination to stake the chance of capital conviction and 
punishment in Sydney against the chances of escape which 
the passage might afford to the accused and to the witnesses 
summoned to attend the trial."J The early bushrangers of 

* Select Committee of the House of Commons on Transportation, 
August, 1838. 

f Select Committee of the House of Commons on Transportation, 
August, 1838. 

J Despatch to Colonial Office, entitled "Administration of Justice at 
Norfolk Island, November, 1838." 


Australia ranged therefore from the comparatively innocent 
wanderer in the bush, to such desperadoes as these, while 
the crimes they committed varied from petty theft to 
burglary, bank robbery, robbery on the high road, and 
murder. The modern idea of a bushranger is a bold 
highwayman, and no doubt many of the bushrangers come 
up to this ideal, but the story of the bushrangers would not 
be complete if it took no note of the others. 

The settlement on Norfolk Island was established with 
the view of sending all the reconvicted prisoners there. It 
was the penal settlement of a penal settlement. It was 
abandoned for a time, after the founding of a similar settle- 
ment on the banks of the Derwent river in Van Diernen's 
Land, but was re-established as a place of punishment in 
connection with that colony, and many of the most notori- 
ous of the bushrangers ended their days there, as we shall 
see later. It was in the convict settlements in those 
islands that the greatest brutalities were perpetrated on 
the prisoners, and Norfolk Island, Macquarie Harbour, and 
Port Arthur were each known as " The Hell " among the 
" old hands," as the convicts were called after transporta- 
tion had been abolished. It was in these settlements 
that the more violent and refractory of the convicts were 
gradually collected, and the history of these places tends 
to prove that brutality cannot be cured by brutal means. 
Flogging which was an every-day occurrence had no 
reformatory effect. The early bushrangers thought nothing 
of it. It certainly did not deter them from absconding 
whenever they thought fit. When an absconder tired of 
wandering about the bush, he returned to the settlement 
to take his flogging " like a man." In the stories told by 
the old hands, the absconder or offender in some other way 
was represented as walking jauntily up to the triangles, 
throwing off his jumper, placing himself in position for 
tying, and then, when he had been secured, telling the 

flagellator to do his " d est," and, if the descriptions of 

the manner in which the floggers performed their task which 
have come down to us are true, the punishment was a 
terrible one. It is said that there were two floggers in 
Sydney who were regarded as artists in their profession. 
These men performed together, the one being right-handed 


and the other left. They prided themselves on being able 
to flog a man without breaking the skin, and consequently 
there was no blood spilled. But the back of the flogged 
man is described as having been puffed up like "blown 
veal." The swelling " shook like jelly," and the effects 
were felt for a much longer period than when the back was 
cut and scored as it generally was, for we are told that the 
ground, in the Barrack Square in Sydney, all round where 
the triangles stood, was saturated with human blood, and 
the flogging places elsewhere must have been in the same 
condition. But to return. When the man had received 
his dose and was cast loose, he would throw his jumper 
across his shoulders and walk away with a grin or with 
some such remarks as " Well, is that all you can do ? 

you ! " and afterwards boast that " the couldn't get a 

whimper " out of him. I have heard a story of a man who 
was flogged. The flagellator kept hitting him low down 
across the loins. The prisoner turned his head round 
once and said fiercely : " Hit higher, blast you ! " The 
flogger took no notice, and the prisoner made no other 
sign until he was untied. Then he knocked the flogger 
down with his fist, and was immediately seized up for 
another "dose." 

" I can assure you, from personal observation, that it is 
not uncommon to see a poor wretch working on the roads, 
or labouring in the fields, with his coarse shirt sticking to 
the green and tainted flesh of his lacerated back, and that, 
too, for the most venial offence. ... I have it from 
unquestionable authority, that it frequently occurs in the 
summer season that the eggs of the blue-fly become inserted 
and hatched in the wounds of the punished offender, from 
which they are occasionally extracted by some humane 

The blow-fly in Australia, although frequently called 
"blue-bottle," is not blue. It deposits its young alive in 
the form of maggots, and great care has always to be taken 
to prevent sores on man or beast from being "blown." 
It is very common for flannel shirts, which have become 

* Secondary Punishments discussed by an Emigrant of x8ai. Lavn- 
teston Advertiser, 


greasy from perspiration, to be blown on the backs of 
workmen, and the maggots thus deposited will attack and 
irritate any scratch or sore they can find if not removed 

The convict, so far from having been ashamed of being 
flogged, boasted of it. But nothing pleased them better 
than the relations of stories about the flogging of 
"freemen," as those settlers who had gone to the colonies 
neither as convicts nor officials were called. One story, 
which may or may not be true, has been told as having 
occurred in every convict district in Australia. It was to 
the effect that a master one day gave a letter to an assigned 
servant and told him to take it to the nearest gaol. The 
servant, surmising that the letter was somewhat to the 
following effect : " Dear Sir, Please give the bearer fifty 
for absconding (or what not), and oblige, yours truly, &c.," 
told a plausible tale to the first freeman he met and 
induced him to deliver the letter. The point of the story 
generally lay in the ingenuity with which the convict 
induced the freeman to deliver the letter for him, but the 
astonishment of the freeman when he was seized up to 
the triangles in spite of his struggles and protestations, and 
given the " fifty," was a perpetual source of joy and hilarity 
to the convicts who heard the story. There is nothing 
inherently improbable in this story. It is quite probable 
that the incident may have occurred more than once. 
Although freemen were legally exempt from flogging, unless 
under sentence of a qualified Court, many authentic 
instances of freemen having been flogged have been told. 
Here is one. "A store-keeper in Hobart Town had offended 
his neighbours, and one of them, in revenge, posted a written 
placard libelling the offender. The placard was affixed to a 
big gum stump at the corner of Collins and Elizabeth Streets. 
Just as the complainant was putting this bill on the stump 
the man libelled in it passed and called the attention of the 
Military Commandant, who was near at hand at the time, to 
it. A sort of informal drum-head Court Martial was held 
on the spot, and the libeller was found guilty and sentenced 
to receive three hundred lashes, which were administered 
at once, in spite of the protests of the victim that he was a 
freeman and was therefore entitled to a judicial trial. When 


two hundred lashes had been administered, a cry of ' Ship 
ho' was raised, and the last hundred was got rid of as 
quickly as possible, the Commandant, the flagellator, the 
spectators, and others all rushing away to the wharf to hear 
the news from Europe."* If the law could be thus set at 
defiance by a military official in the case of a free 
immigrant holding a good position, what chance of justice 
could there be for a convict ? A story illustrating the 
reckless manner in which prisoners were flogged is told by 
the Launceston Advertiser. " A prisoner was found guilty 
of absconding, and sentenced to receive fifty lashes, when 
some circumstances were disclosed which proved that 
the prisoner was innocent, but had lost his pass. 
' Never mind,' said the Launceston magistrate, ' the 
warrant is signed, let him be punished now ; I will 
forgive him the next time he's brought up.' " The 
tyranny of the officials was boundless. One Government 
rule was that all convicts should take off their hats to 
officers and officials whenever they passed. In January, 
1839, a party of convicts was building some steps at Woolloo- 
mooloo Bay, on Sir Maurice O'ConnelPs estate. Several of 
them were rolling a heavy stone down to be placed in 
position when an officer passed along and the convicts 
immediately rose up and took their hats off. The stone 
rolled quickly down the steep embankment, struck the 
overseer and knocked him down, almost breaking his 
leg. Captain O'Connell gave orders that the men should 
not salute anybody in future while at work. A few days 
later Colonel Wilson, Chief Police Magistrate of Sydney, 
passed, accompanied by his daughter. The convicts con- 
tinued at work without noticing him. " Take off your hats," 
cried the Colonel. Several of the men did so, but 
Joseph Todd, who was carrying a heavy load, took no 
notice. "Take off your hat, you scoundrel," said the 
Colonel. Todd said he had been ordered not to. The 
Colonel shouted "I'll have your back skinned for you, 
you rascal," called the sergeant of police who acted as 
guard, and gave Todd in charge. Captain O'Connell 
appeared to defend his man and said Colonel Wilson was 

* History of Van Diemen's Land from 1820 to 1835. 


trespassing and had no right to interfere with assigned 
servants on their master's estate. Sergeant Goodwin 
deposed that the path was a common one and people 
frequented it to get to the bathing place. Sergeant Mather 
said that Todd had struggled when arrested. The Bench 
held that Todd being an assigned servant had been guilty 
of disorderly conduct in resisting the police. Had he been 
a freeman he would have been justified in resisting arrest 
without a warrant; but, being a prisoner, his conduct had 
been highly disorderly, and he was, therefore, sentenced to 
receive fifty lashes. A week later Todd was again arrested 
for being out after hours, and was sentenced to receive 
thirty lashes. The paper in reporting this charged Colonel 
Wilson with tyrannical conduct, and says that he went to 
see Todd flogged.* 

I am not relating the worst cases in order to " make 
out a case " for the bushrangers, but simply facts to 
illustrate the life in the colonies at the time, and thus 
account for the large number of men who " took to the 
bush," and the special Acts passed to prevent this breach of 
the law were as tyrannical as the acts of the officials or the 
masters which went so far to create it. The " Bushranging 
Act" (n George IV., No. 10) authorised the military or 
civil police to arrest any person on the mere suspicion that 
he or she was illegally at large, and the onus of proof was 
throv/n on the suspected party. This Act was a fruitful 
source of complaint. No one was safe except well known 
officials, and it is said that the Act was extensively used for 
purposes of extortion and black mail. A young woman 
was arrested by an ex-constable and charged with being 
illegally at large. It was in vain that she protested that she 
was " free " and did not require a pass. He insisted on 
taking her to the lock-up. Fortunately, while walking along 
the street she met some one who knew her and who 
threatened the ex-policeman with prosecution if he did not 
release her. The fellow did so and was not prosecuted. 
Probably had an enquiry been held it would have been 
found that he was acting in collusion with the police. 
Even the officials were not always safe. Mr. Jacques, the 

* Sydney Gazette. 


Government auctioneer, had been to a dinner party. Being 
near the Custom House he decided to walk to the wharf 
from whence the steamer, which ran to Balmain, started 
and go home in her. Not having walked to the wharf 
from that point before, he found it necessary to apply 
to a constable for information as to which turning he 
should take, and was immediately arrested as a convict 
illegally at large. Inf spite of his protests he was conveyed 
to the nearest police station. The sergeant in charge 
refused to believe his story, and thought that the presence 
of a well-dressed man in that quarter was suspicious. Mr. 
Jacques was therefore detained till morning, when he was 
recognised by the magistrate and discharged. In 1834 a 
circular letter was addressed by the Governor to the various 
police-magistrates in New South Wales, enquiring whether, 
in their opinion, the Act should be reaffirmed or not, and 
the replies were by a large majority in favour of its being 
continued, while others merely suggested that it might be 
amended in various ways to prevent the abuses which had 
grown up under its operation. Judge Burton was almost 
alone in his condemnation of the Bushranging Act, which, 
he said, was repugnant to the laws of England. " England 
and the United States of America," he said, " are the only 
two countries in the world where passports are not com- 
pulsory," and he deprecated the introduction of the passport 
system into Australia. It was held that the conditions 
existing in the colony made such an act necessary, and it 
was therefore re-enacted without amendment.* It is worthy 
of note, as illustrating Colonial Office procedure of that 
day, that it was the paid officials, and not the public, who 
were consulted in this matter. 

The facts being as I have stated, the wonder is not that 
large numbers of prisoners " took to the bush " but that all 
did not do so, and the more we study the early history of 
the convict settlements the less we feel inclined to blame 
the early bushrangers, however savage or atrocious their 
actions were. But we have not yet quite escaped from 
barbarism. In spite of the positive evidence that flogging 
brutalises and does not reform it is still continued. We also 

* Dispatch of Governor Bourke to the Colonial Office, 1835, 


continue to hang criminals, although there is no proof that 
it deters crime or effects any good whatever. I do not 
belong to any society for the abolition of capital punishment. 
I may admit that perhaps there may be men whose death is 
desirable or expedient ; but, if it is so, if there are men unfit 
to live or whose death might add to the happiness or security 
of the majority, then I think that we might extend to our 
fellow creatures, however ferocious or abandoned they may 
be, the mercy which we show to savage or superfluous dogs 
and cease from torturing them in their last moments. 
Hanging has had a sufficiently lengthy trial in Australia 
if it has not in England. Old residents in Sydney or in 
Hobart Town or in any other locality where penal settle- 
ments have existed can point out numbers of places where 
the gallows has been erected, and in some cases trees are 
still standing where numbers of men have struggled away 
their last few moments of life. This, however, is not the 
place to enlarge upon this subject, but the story I have to 
tell shows a lamentable waste of life, and many even of the 
more notorious of the bushrangers have exhibited qualities 
which might under happier conditions have fitted them for 
useful work. This is specially true of the earlier bushrangers 
who were the victims generally of unjust laws. Of the later 
ones, the native-born bushrangers, it is impossible to speak 
in the same terms. They were not driven to crime by want 
or oppression, but they were the vicious products of a 
vicious past. Their crimes were due to vicious environment 
and education, but they are gone now and, if we may draw 
some lessons of utility for the future, even their lives may 
not have been altogether wasted. 

From the evidence I have adduced it will be seen that 
the early bushrangers were very numerous. " In one case 
it became known," said Mr. James Macarthur, " that a gang 
of about sixty convicts, employed in the Government gangs 
in Liverpool, intended to break out on a certain night and 
take to the bush. It was considered advisable to allow them 
to break out, proper precautions having been made to capture 
them. It was the intention to attack our farming stations at 
Camden. We armed twelve of the best-conducted of our 
convict servants, but the absconders found that their design 
had been discovered and did not attempt to put it in 


force."* Thus the bushrangers did not always go out singly, 
or in twos or threes. Mr. J. T. Bigge says : " At Windsor, 
and in the adjoining districts, the offence termed bush- 
ranging, or absconding in the woods, and living upon 
plunder and the robbing of orchards, are most prevalent. 
. . . At Emu Plains, or the district of Evan, gambling, 
absence from work, insolence to overseers, neglect of work, 
and stealing, are the most common offences. ... As 
the population of New South Wales has, until lately, been 
virtually limited to the occupation of a small tract of land 
that lies between the Blue Mountains and the sea, and as 
few temptations to plunder existed in the tracts contiguous 
to these boundaries, excepting those that are afforded by the 
wild cattle in the cow-pastures, the offence of bushranging, 
or continued absence in the woods, has not of late been 
common. .Instances have occurred of the departure of 
convicts for the purpose of traversing the country with a 
view to escape, of the escape of some from Newcastle, sent 
thither for punishment, and their wandering and temporary 
existence in the vicinity of Windsor; and latterly, a few 
instances of escape from the road parties in the districts of 
Liverpool and Bathurst ; but there has been no systematic 
or continued efforts of desperate convicts to defy the 
attempts of the local Government in New South Wales, or 
to subsist by plunder, such as have existed until a very late 
period in Van Diemen's Land."t 

It is in Van Diemen's Land, therefore, that our story of 
the more serious phases of bushranging first begins. 

* Select Committee of the House of Commons on Transportation, 
July, 1837. 

f Commission of Enquiry into the state of the colony of New South 
Wales, 1822. 


Van Diemen's Land ; The First Bushranger ; Mike Howe, the King 
of the Ranges ; The Raid on the Blacks ; The Black War ; 
Musquito; Outrages by the Blacks; Brutal Treatment of Blacks 
by Bushrangers ; A War of Reprisals ; Gigantic Scheme to Capture 
the Blacks ; A Cordon Drawn Round the Disaffected District ; 
Details of the Scheme ; Its Failure ; Only Two Blacks Captured ; 
Estimated Cost ; Fate of the Blacks. 

THE first settlement in Van Diemen's Land was founded 
in 1803, when a penal establishment, to which the more 
refractory of the prisoners in Sydney might be despatched, 
was founded on the banks of the River Derwent. Subse- 
quently other penal stations were opened, and of these we 
shall hear later. The island continued to be the chief penal 
establishment of New South Wales until 1825, when it was 
erected into an independent colony. The first shipment of 
convicts, direct from England to Van Diemen's Land, took 
place in 1823, and from that date, until transportation to 
the island finally ceased, in 1853, 64,306 convicts were sent 
to that colony from the British Isles. The number sent 
previously from New South Wales was not large, nevertheless 
it included the majority of the most turbulent of the convicts 
and relieved the mother colony of their charge and control. 
The island was in fact " nothing but a jail on a large scale."* 
The early conditions in the colony appear to have been 
favourable to bushranging. In 1805 there was such a 
dearth of food stuffs, owing to the non-arrival of store ships 
from Sydney, that a famine appeared to be imminent and, 
to relieve the store, the Lieutenant Governor ordered the 
liberation of the convicts and sent them into the woods 

* History of Van Diemeii's Land from 1820 to 1835. 


to catch kangaroo and other wild animals for food. When 
the stores arrived and food became plentiful, the attempts 
to recall the convicts were only partially successful. Many 
had learned how to subsist in the bush and disregarded the 
proclamations issued by the Lieutenant Governor ordering 
them to return ^o work. At first the bushrangers or bolters 
were similar to those of New South Wales and contented 
themselves with petty thefts. The first proclamation in 
which reference is made to " a gang of bushrangers " was 
published in the Hobart Town Gazette by Lieutenant 
Governor Davey and dated September loth, 1810. It 
offered rewards and indulgences to convicts for the capture 
of any members of a gang which, under the leadership of a 
convict named Whitehead, had been committing depreda- 
tions on the property of settlers and farmers in the vicinity 
of Hobart Town. 

Whitehead, therefore, was the first to organise a gang 
which combined highway robbery with burglary and petty 
larceny. Bushrangers were not at that time specialists. 
From time to time other proclamations were issued in 
which this gang was mentioned, but it was not until May 
1 4th, 1813, that a special proclamation was published, 
calling upon the " bolters " to surrender. Those who 
neglected to obey this order were to be proclaimed " out- 
laws " on December ist. 

Very few particulars are published about this gang in 
the newspapers, and the proclamations rarely specify the facts 
in connection with the robberies committed. The news- 
papers of the time seldom mention the names of the 
bushrangers, and appear to have been quite as averse to 
mentioning the Christian names as the modern English 
papers are those of professional cricketers. Thus 
Whitehead is referred to as " the convict Whitehead," 
or the " notorious bushranger Whitehead," and so on. 
He is debited, however, with one horrible crime. The 
gang captured a half-crazy fellow named John Hopkins, 
and accused him of trying to betray them. As a punish- 
ment for this offence a pair of moccassins, roughly made of 
bullock hide, was fitted on to his feet, and in these were 
placed a number of the great red ants, commonly known in 
Australia as " bull-dog " or " soldier " ants (myrmecia gulosa). 


These ants are an inch and a quarter long, and of most 
ferocious appearance. They are the dread of the colonists. 
They sting quite as severely as a bee or a hornet. But 
a bee stings only once, while a soldier ant will continue to 
sting until removed. It is always ready to fight, and never 
lets go when it has taken hold ; hence its popular names. 
The horrible barbarity of such a punishment can be best 
appreciated, perhaps, by those who have inadvertently stood 
on a " soldier's " bed or nest. The victim is said to have 
died in agony. 

Whitehead was shot by a party of soldiers in October, 
1814, and Michael Howe, commonly called the " First of 
the Australian Bushrangers," was elected captain of the 
gang in his stead. Mike Howe, as he was usually called, 
was transported from England for highway robbery, and 
soon after his arrival at Sydney " got into trouble," and was transported to Van Diemen's Land, where his violence 
caused him to be repeatedly flogged and otherwise punished. 
He made his escape and joined Whitehead's gang, and 
soon, by his superior education, gained an ascendency over 
his comrades. His previous experiences as a footpad in 
England no doubt tended to fit him for the leadership of 
the gang, and he is still regarded as one of the most notable 
of the revolters against law and order in the colonies. One 
of his earlier achievements was to organise a raid on a tribe 
of blacks for the purpose of providing himself and his 
comrades with wives. This is said to have been the first 
act in the tragedy which closed with the complete annihil- 
ation of the blacks of the island. The savages, of course, 
resisted, and many of them were shot, and the women were 
forced away to the bushrangers' camp. In revenge, the 
blacks attacked, not the bushrangers' camp, but the houses 
of settlers who had no connection with the bushrangers, and 
fights between the settlers and the blacks became frequent. 
"Some of the black women seem to have become reconciled 
to the change, and Howe's " wife," Black Mary, is associated 
with him in most of the stories told of him. It is said that 
it was her knowledge of the bush which enabled him to 
escape so frequently from the military bands sent out to 
capture him. 

Howe addressed a letter " From the Bushrangers to the 


Hon. T. Davey, Lieutenant Governor of Van Diemen's 
Land," in which he protested against the charge, made 
against himself and his mates in the proclamations, of 
having been guilty of " horrid and detestable crimes." He 
asserted that he had never committed murder and had only 
used violence when it was necessary to avoid capture. The 
letter was conveyed to Hobart Town by an American 
whaler named Richard Westlick, who had an interview with 
his Excellency, and was sent back with a verbal message 
that the Governor " did not wish to take the life of any 
man," but merely to preserve order. If, therefore, Howe, 
or any of his comrades, would surrender no charges should 
be made against them for their acts while "in the bush." 
No notice was taken of this generous offer, and the depre- 
dations continued. Later on Mike Howe addressed a letter 
" From the Governor of the Ranges to the Governor of the 
Town," and sent it to Lieutenant Governor Sorell, who had 
succeeded Colonel Davey. In this the bushranger offered 
to give himself up on condition that he received a free 
pardon. He demanded that some recognised official should 
be sent to meet him at an appointed spot, so that they 
might " confer as gentleman to gentleman." The fact that 
this insolent offer was accepted affords incontrovertible 
evidence of the power of the bushrangers, and shows the 
anxiety of the Governor to put a stop to the robberies 
which harassed the industrious settlers and made the roads 
of the colony unsafe. Captain Nairne, of the 46th Regiment, 
was sent out to meet the bushranger, and the result of 
their conference "as gentlemen" was that Howe accom- 
panied the Captain back to Hobart Town. On his arrival 
there he was informed that the Lieutenant Governor had 
no power to grant pardons, but that he would write 
to Governor Macquarie in Sydney and urge him to grant 
a pardon without delay. Howe agreed to wait in Hobart 
Town. He was liberated on parole, and soon became very 
popular in the city. Then a rumour began to spread to the 
effect that Howe had committed no less than four murders, 
not reckoning the blacks he had killed, and that, therefore, 
the Governor declined to grant him a pardon. As soon as. 
Howe heard this rumour he, without waiting for its con- 
firmation, broke his parole and returned to the bush. A 


proclamation was immediately issued declaring him an 
outlaw, and offering one hundred pounds reward for his 
capture, dead or alive. Smaller rewards were offered for 
other members of his gang, whose names were known. 

The estimates of the strength of his gang vary extremely 
from time to time. Sometimes he is said to have a hundred 
or more followers, while frequently he is represented as 
acting alone or in company with only one or two others. 
The facts appear to be that many men, who merely 
" bolted " into the bush as a relief to the monotony of their 
lives, became bushrangers ; and, when hard pressed, or when 
they tired of that pursuit, returned to the town, gave 
themselves up, and were punished as ordinary bolters. One 
day, not very long after his escape from Hobart Town, 
Howe was surprised while asleep by two ticket-of-leave men 
named Watts and Drew. They captured and tied him. 
Howe fought like a lion and contrived to break the rope 
with which he was tied. He snatched a knife and stabbed 
Watts. He then seized Watts' gun and shot Drew dead. 
Watts ran away, while Howe was employed in re-loading 
the gun, and managed to secrete himself in the scrub for 
a time. When the way was clear he crawled to a farm and 
gave information. He was cared for as well as circum- 
stances permitted, but he died from loss of blood before a 
doctor could be brought to him. Howe was followed by 
the military, but escaped. 

Several skirmishes took place between Howe and his 
gang and the soldiers, and more than one of his accomplices 
were shot, but the chief always contrived to get away. At 
length a kangaroo hunter named Warburton led William 
Pugh, a soldier commonly known as " Big Bill," and a 
seaman named John Worrall, to where Howe was camped 
under a gum tree. A terrific fight took place, Howe's 
brains being beaten out before it was over. 

In his review of this period, Mr. J. T. Bigge said : " The 
excesses of the bushrangers in the neighbourhood of Port 
Dalrymple, and likewise near Hobart Town, had attained 
their utmost height and most sanguinary character at the 
latter end of the year 1813. They had been joined by two 
persons who had held subordinate stations in the com- 
misariat department, named Peter Mills and George 


Williams, and continued a system of violent depredations 
upon the homes and property of individuals of every 
description. So great was the intimidation produced by 
their combined efforts, that the inhabitants of several 
districts abandoned their dwellings and removed for safety 
to the towns Colonel Davey issued a pro- 
clamation offering rewards for the apprehension of a party 
of nine, and with the advice of Mr. Ellis Bent another 
proclamation calling upon them to surrender before 

December ist The effect of this was the 

reverse of what was intended. It increased the crimes 
and audacity of the bushrangers during the six months 
that it allowed for their return ; they profited by the pardon 
by making a temporary surrender, and then resumed their 

habits of plunder Hector McDonald, the 

leader, was shot by two convicts sent in pursuit of a gang 
of four. Another was shot by a soldier of the 48th 
regiment, and the other three were captured and on con- 
viction flogged and transported."* 

For the time, bushranging in Van Diemen's Land was 
said to have been put down, but " the Guerilla War " 
between the whites and the blacks, inaugurated by the 
bushrangers, continued. Mr. Gilbert Robertson was 
appointed conciliator, with a view to arranging terms of 
peace, but he was not very successful. Several proclama- 
tions were issued assuring the blacks that if they would 
come in and make peace the Government would endeavour 
to protect them against their enemies the bushrangers ; but, 
as was pointed out at the time, issuing proclamations to 
savages who could not read was absurd. Then a pictorial 
proclamation was issued. In one portion the governor 
was shown shaking hands with a blackfellow ; in 
others blacks and whites were exhibited mingling 
together in friendship. In the two bottom compartments 
a white man was shown being hung for having shot a black, 
while a blackfellow was being hung for having speared a 
white man. Copies of this pictorial proclamation were 
posted on trees and other places where the blacks might see 

* Commission of Enquiry into the state of the Colony of New South 
Wales, 1822-3. 


it. Lieutenant Governor Arthur in fact, on his arrival in 
the colony, tried by every means in his power to appeal to 
the blacks and whites alike. He endeavoured to restrain 
the settlers from attacking and driving the blacks away from 
their farms whenever they appeared, as had become the 
custom, but some new outrage by the bushrangers gave a 
new impulse to the feud, and the settlers were compelled to 
fight in self-defence. In one of his despatches to the 
Colonial Secretary Governor Arthur said : " It is not a 
matter of surprise that the injuries real or supposed, inflicted 
on the blacks, have been avenged upon the whites 
whenever an occasion presents itself; and I regret 
to say that the natives led on by a Sydney black, and 
by two aborigines of this island, men partially civilised 
(a circumstance which augurs ill for any endeavour to 
instruct these abject beings), have committed many murders 
upon the shepherds and herdsmen in remote settlements. 
. . . . . I have long indulged the expectation that 
kindness and forbearance would have brought about some- 
thing like a reconciliation, but the repeated murders which 
have been committed have so greatly inflamed the passions 
of the settlers, that petitions and complaints have been 
presented from every part of the colony, and the feeling of 
resentment now runs so high that further forbearance would 
be totally indefensible."* 

The Sydney black here mentioned was known as 
Musquito. He was transported to Van Diemen's Land for 
the murder of a black gin (presumably his wife, which is 
no crime according to native law) in 1823, and having 
been employed on a cattle station in New South Wales, was 
appointed stock-keeper. Later, he was employed as a 
tracker, and aided the soldiers in capturing some of the 
bushrangers. For this he was so persecuted by his fellow 
convicts that life became a burden to him. He appealed 
to the authorities for protection ; but, as this was net 
accorded to him, he became a bushranger himself. 
" Perhaps taken collectively the sable natives of this colony 
are the most peaceable creatures in the universe. Certainly 
so taken they have never committed any acts of cruelty, or 

* Despatch dated April ijth, 1828. 


even resisted the whites, unless when insufferably goaded 
by provocation. The only tribe who have done any 
mischief were corrupted by Musquito, a Sydney black, who, 
with much perverted cunning, taught them a portion of his 
own villainy, and incited them after a time to join in his 

Knowing, as we do, the general character of the 
Australian blacks, it seems strange that one of them 
should prove himself so much superior to the Van Diemen's 
Land blacks as Musquito is represented to have done. But 
however that may be, there can be no doubt as to his skill 
in organisation. Some of his attacks on settlers were so 
skilfully planned and carried out, that many persons 
believed that the blacks had been led by a white man. 
After about two years of bushranging, Musquito and Black 
Jack, the two leaders, were captured. Musquito was 
charged with the murder of William Holyoak, and Mr. 
Gilbert Robertson appeared in his defence. Mr. Robertson 
urged that the murders committed by Musquito were in self 
defence. Had he been protected by the Government, as he 
should have been after the services he had rendered, he 
would never have taken to the bush. He related many 
instances to show the skill of the black, and among 
others, said that he had seen him " cut the head off 
a flying pigeon with a crooked stick."! This seems to 
indicate that however intimately Mr. Robertson might 
be acquainted with the Van Diemen's Land blacks he 
had no acquaintance with the boomerang. In spite 
of the conciliator's efforts Musquito was convicted 
and sentenced to death. When the sentence had been 

pronounced Musquito said, " Hanging no good for 

blackfellow." Mr. Bisdee asked him " Why not as good 
for blackfellow as for whitefellow ? " " Oh," exclaimed 
Musquito, "Very good for whitefellow. He used to it." 
Black Jack was convicted of the murder of Patrick 
Macartney. The only English known by Black Jack was 
of the " old hands oaths brand." The two blacks were 
hung in Hobart Town, but " The Black War " continued. 

* Hobart Town Gatette. 

t Renort of the Select Committee of the House of Commons, 1838. 


"" The deadly antipathy which was excited between the 
aborigines and the bushrangers of Van Diemen's 
Land provoked a series of outrages which would have 
terminated in the utter extinction of the whole race, if the 
local Government had not interposed to remove the last 
remnant of them from the island ; an act of real mercy, 
though of apparent severity."* Before proceeding to 
describe this attempt to save the remnant of the race we 
may perhaps give a list of the " Atrocities committed by the 
blacks." It is not a very long one, taking into consideration 
the time occupied in the war. In March, 1820, forty-nine 
-natives attacked Mr. Broadribb's house. They were divided 
into several parties which came up from different points 
simultaneously. One man was speared in the thigh before 
the blacks were repulsed. They all went away together and 
stripped Mr. Thomson's house of everything portable. They 
then proceeded to Mr. E. Denovan's and robbed his place. 
-On April ist John Raynor was speared and dreadfully beaten 
at Spring Bay. On May i8th a party of blacks attacked two 
men employed by Mr. Lord. One was dangerously speared 
and the other beaten. The hut was stripped. On June ist 
Mr. Sherwin's hut, at Weasel Plain, was plundered, and on 
the 1 5th, Den Hut, at Lake River, was stripped bare, and 
Mary Daniels and her two children murdered. On 
August yth, S. Stockman's hut, at Green Ponds, was 
-plundered. On the 9th, some muskets, powder, and shot 
were stolen from the huts of Mr. Sharland, a Government 
surveyor. On the same day the Government hut, between 
Borthwick and Blue Ash, was robbed, several horses stolen 
from Mr. Wood and Mr. Pitcairn, and a man wounded at 
Mr. Purvis's. This party consisted of about forty blacks. 
They were met by Mr. HowelPs party, and the blacks were 
driven off after a fight. A woman living near was wounded 
with a spear. On the 23rd, the huts of Mr. J. Connell 
.and Mr. Robertson were attacked, and the latter plundered ; 
Mr. Sutherland's shepherds were robbed of their 
arms and one of them wounded; some arms were taken 
from Mr. Taylor's hut. The next day James Hooper was 
killed, and his hut plundered. The huts of Lieutenants 

* Report of the Select Committee of the House of Commons, 1838. ' 


Bell and Watts were attacked, but the blacks were- 
repulsed. On September 8th Captain Clark's shepherd was 
attacked, but contrived to escape. On the i3th one man 
was killed and another wounded on the banks of the Tamar 
River. On the i4th a man working at the Government 
lime kilns at Bothwell was attacked, but escaped. On the- 
1 8th a private of the 63rd Regiment was speared and two 
other soldiers wounded. One of the savages was killed. 
On the 27th Francis Booker was killed with spears, 
and on the next day three men at Major Gray's hut 
were wounded. On the same day two men were- 
killed at Mr. G. Scott's place and their bodies thrown 
into the river. A third man was wounded, but 
escaped into the bush. The house was stripped of 
everything. This robbery was so systematically carried 
through that it was believed that the blacks had been led 
by white men. A hut on the opposite side of the road was 
also stripped. On October i6th the settlement at Sorell 
was attacked, one man being killed and another severely 
wounded. Four houses were stripped. On the i8th 
Captain Stewart's shepherd was killed and a settler, Mr. 
Gilders, was also speared and died. On the igth, Messrs. 
Gatehouse and Gordon's house was attacked, but the blacks 
were repulsed. They were also driven away from Mr. 
Gaugel's place, but not before he was severely wounded. 
On November igth two huts were robbed on the Ouse 
River. Captain Wight's shepherd was killed and dread- 
fully mangled. His body was found later. On the 
zyth a hut on the Esk River was stripped bare. On 
February 3rd, 1821, an attack was made on Mr. Burrell's 
house on the Tamar River. Mr. Wallace was severely 
wounded in several places, and a child was also wounded 
by a spear. L. Knight's hut was plundered, three 
horses belonging to Mr. Sutherland were killed and three 
others were wounded. His hut at North Esk was also 
plundered. Mrs. McCaskell was killed near Westbury, and 
her hut plundered of everything. An attack made on Mr. 
Stewart's house was repulsed. On March 8th, two sawyers 
were wounded, and two huts near New Norfolk were plun- 
dered. On the 1 2th, Mrs. Cunningham and her child were; 
severely wounded, and her hut at East Arm plundered. 


Mr. Lawrence's servant was wounded, and three men were 
wounded on Norfolk Plains. On April 5th, T. Ralton was 
killed with a spear while splitting wood. On the i6th, Mr. 
Fitzgerald was sitting at the door of his hut reading, when a 
blackfellow sneaked up and drove a spear through him, 
after which his cottage was plundered. On the lyth, 
another attack was made on Fitzgerald's house. On 
May icth, the Government store at Patrick Plains was 
burned down. Mr. Kemp's establishment at Lake Sorell 
was attacked by a large mob of blacks. Two men were 
killed, one wounded, the buildings were burned down and 
the firearms carried away. On June 6th, several huts were 
attacked at Hunter's Hill. Mrs. Triffet was speared and 
her house plundered, the huts of Messrs. Marnetti, Bell, and 
Clark were robbed, and Mrs. N. Long was killed. On 
September 5th, Thomas Smith was killed at Tapsley, and 
his hut plundered ; John Higginson was killed and his hut 
robbed, and a sawyer's hut was plundered. On the yth, 
Mr. B. B. Thomas and his overseer, Mr. Parker, were 
murdered near Port Sorell, while endeavouring to carry out 
the conciliatory policy of the Government. Mr. Stocker's 
hut was attacked, a man named Cupid killed, and a child 
wounded. On the 27th, Mr. Dawson's hut on Bushy 
Plains was attacked, and a man severely beaten. On the 
23rd, Mr. Dawson's man Hughes was again beaten with 
waddies and nearly killed. On October i3th, the natives, 
armed with muskets, attacked and robbed the house of 
Constable Reid, and afterwards that of Mr. Amos Junior.* 1 
This report covers only a portion of the time during 
which the war lasted, but it sufficiently indicates the 
character of the war. When the blacks attacked the 
cottages, or huts as they are called in Australia, of 
shepherds, sawyers, splitters, and other workers, they were 
frequently successful, but were generally repulsed when they 
attacked the residences or houses of the employers. The 
manner in which the blacks fought struck terror into 
the hearts of the settlers. No one was safe. At any 
time, day or night, a party of blacks might sneak 

* Despatch from Governor Arthur to Earl Bathurst, dated October 13, 


up and, with wild yells, spear men, women, and children, 
old or young, without warning. Their patience in tracking 
was indomitable. If they could not effect a surprise they 
withdrew and waited. No doubt, as the advocates of the 
cause of the blacks said, the number of whites killed was 
much smaller than the number of blacks slaughtered by 
bushrangers in their lust and by settlers and soldiers in 
defence. But it can be readily understood that the 
position of the settlers was intolerable. Every attempt to 
drive the blacks away from the settled districts only 
provoked fresh reprisals, while every attempt at conciliation 
failed until at length it became evident that the blacks must 
be either captured or killed. It was therefore with a view to 
saving the blacks that Lieutenant Governor Arthur urged the 
necessity of capturing and removing them from Van Diemen's 
Land to one of the Islands in Bass's Straits. In his des- 
patches to Governor Bourke and to the Colonial Office, 
he said that it was utterly impossible to restrain the colonists, 
so great was their rage at the murders of peaceful citizens, 
and especially of women and children, while all his attempts 
at conciliation had failed in consequence of the continual 
outrages committed on the blacks by the bushrangers. Mr. 
Gilbert Robertson said : " One day a settler was riding across 
his grounds looking for cattle. He jumped his horse over 
a log, and while doing so caught the sparkle of a pair of eyes 
gleaming from the shadow of the log. He pulled up, 
wheeled his horse round and dismounted, thinking he had 
found a kangaroo, but on pulling some brush away saw a poor 
cowering black trying to hide himself, but there was no mercy 
in the heart of the settler. He cocked his gun and shot the 
black in cold blood."* The story is a very pathetic one, but 
perhaps the settler had had reason to know that " the poor 
cowering black " was sneaking up to the settlement to 
murder any unsuspecting man, woman, or child he might 
come across. Hiding behind logs, crawling through brush, 
was the ordinary method of fighting employed by the Van 
Diemen's Land aborigines, and had he not been on the war 
path he would not have resorted to this secret manner of 
travelling but would have stood out boldly. The blacks are 

* Report of the Select Committee of the House of Commons, 1838. 


not cowards, and are not afraid of showing themselves, 
as a rule, after their first superstitious fear of the white man 
passes away. This being the general experience of 
bushmen, the settler may have been justified in killing the 
black. He may have been simply treating him according to 
the blackfellow's own rule in war time. But although we 
may acquit the settler of blame by such reasoning, the 
existence of such conditions as to necessitate such a war is 
not the less deplorable. The whites all carried arms when 
travelling, and even while working about their homes. 
Shepherds and other workmen went in pairs. There was 
no safety anywhere outside the cleared lands round the 
larger towns. Reviewing the whole situation from our 
present standpoint, it is difficult to say what other measures 
could have been adopted than those tried by the Govern- 
ment. The authorities were apparently incapable of 
controlling the bushrangers, nor could they prevent convicts 
from running away, and these outlaws appear to have 
always considered the blacks as fair game. Mr. Robertson 
tells us that a convict known as " Carrots " boasted shortly 
before his death that, " having killed a native in his 
attempt to carry off the black's wife, he cut off the dead 
man's head and obliged the woman to go with him carrying 
it suspended round her neck."* Is it any wonder 
that even such " passive and inoffensive creatures " as 
the Van Diemen's Land blacks are said to have been, 
should have been aroused to fury by such methods? 
But although the Government had no control over the 
convicts in the bush, and such outrages as this were not 
known of until long after they had occurred, it can scarcely 
be said that even Governor 'Arthur, in spite of his earnest 
desire to protect the blacks, was altogether blameless. The 
whole policy of the Government in relation to the blacks 
was weak and vacillating. Governor Arthur promised a 
native, known as Teague, a boat on condition that he 
should assist in the capture of some bushrangers. The 
black performed his share of the work, but he never got his 
boat, and is said to have fretted himself to death in 
consequence. The Sydney black, Musquito, was force i 

* Report of the Select Committee of the House of Commons, 1832. 


"into the bush" by the failure of the Government to 
protect him against the persecution due to the manner 
in which he had been employed in the service of that 
Government. In September, 1826, two blacks were 
hung in Hobart Town " to impress the others." Nothing 
could be more absurd than this, and it was far more 
barbarous a method of reprisal than the shooting of a " poor 
cowering black." But the Government was not even con- 
sistent in its savagery. At the trial of Eumarrah Mr. 
Robertson pleaded that the black was justified in resisting 
the invaders of his country in any and every way ; and, on 
his undertaking to remove Eumarrah to Flinders Island, 
where he had collected about thirty-eight blacks under the 
charge of missionaries, the plea was accepted and the 
prisoner was handed over to him. By this time, however, 
the war had become so vindictive that even the authorities 
in London recognised that the blacks must be captured or 
annihilated, and consequently permission was granted to 
Governor Arthur to put in practice the most extraordinary 
project perhaps ever attempted. 

In April, 1828, a proclamation was issued which, after 
describing the state of tension which existed between whit s 
and blacks, exhorted all well-disposed persons to assist the 
Government in attempting to establish peace and order. The 
proclamation went on to explain that a cordon was to be 
drawn round the disturbed area and that this was 
to be gradually contracted until the natives were either 
captured or driven across the narrow isthmus which 
connects Tasman's peninsula with the main portion of the 
island. "But I do, nevertheless, hereby strictly order, 
enjoin, and command, that the actual use of arms be in 
no case resorted to, by firing against any of the natives, or 
otherwise, if they can by other measures be captured." 

The force employed in this gigantic scheme is said to 
have been about two thousand two hundred men, of whom 
five hundred and fifty were soldiers belonging to the 63rd, 
the 57th, and the lyth regiments. The whole force was 
divided into parties of about ten each, and one of these was 
appointed a leader. On October 7th, a chain of posts was 
established from St. Patrick's Head along the rivers St. Paul, 
South Esk, Macquarie, and Meander, under the command 


of Major Douglas, of the 63rd regiment. A similar chain of 
posts was formed from the Derwent River along the River 
Dee to the Lakes, under Captain Wentworth, of the 63rd 
regiment. A third party, under Captain Donaldson, of the 
57th regiment, was stationed in the rear to capture any 
blacks who might escape through the front line. Captain 
Moriarty, R.N., in charge of a party, was appointed to scour 
between the lines and to drive the natives forward or 
capture them. Mr. Gilbert Robertson and other friends of 
the blacks acted with this group of parties with the object 
of persuading such natives as they might meet to surrender 
quietly. For about three weeks the posts were advanced 
slowly, and frequent reports were circulated that the 
beaters had seen parties of blacks and that they were 
going in the desired direction. On the 25th Mr. Walpole 
reported that he had come on a camp of blacks and saw 
them lighting their fires and cooking as if nothing unusual 
was going on. He watched all night, and just before day- 
break crept up slowly and found five blacks asleep. He 
seized one and held him after a desperate struggle, during 
which the black bit him severely on the arm. A boy of 
about fifteen was captured by another settler who was with 
Mr. Walpole, and these two were handed over to the 
authorities and conveyed to the nearest police station to 
be kept until the remainder were captured. On the 26th 
Lieutenant Ovens saw a black with a firestick apparently 
trying to sneak through the lines. He ran forward and 
the black retreated into the bush. Several other blacks 
were turned back from other points in the line. 
These also carried firesticks. On the 2yth the cordon had 
been drawn so close that the escape of the blacks within 
the line was considered impossible, but as no reports had 
been made for some time of any blacks having been seen, 
some discontent was manifested by the hunters. On the 
3ist an order was issued from the camp at Sorrell rivulet to 
close in, and hopes were expressed that no blacks would be 
permitted to escape in the final rush. The following day 
the lines closed in, and no blacks escaped. There was 
none there to escape. They had slipped through the lines 
as soon as they became aware that they were being hunted, 
and the man and boy caught by Mr. Walpole's party were 


the only blacks captured. A proclamation was published 
next day, in which the Governor thanked the settlers for 
their services, and regretted that their efforts had not been 
more successful. In a despatch sent to the Colonial 
Secretary, Governor Arthur said, " I regret to report that 
the measures which I had the honour to lay before you 
terminated without the capture of either of the native 
tribes,"* and that was all that was said about it officially. 
It has been estimated that the scheme cost the colony some 
^35,000, but no particulars were published, and therefore 
all estimates of cost are mere guesses. 

From a humanitarian point of view it is to be regretted 
that it did not succeed, but the fact that it could be 
attempted proves how little was known of the blacks 
by the authorities. The fact that the blacks, who were 
said to be endeavouring to escape through the lines, 
held firesticks in their hands proves that they were then 
unaware of the intention of the whites, and they were 
probably outside the lines very shortly after it had been 
thus intimated to them that they were being hunted. But 
it is doubtful whether the race could have been preserved 
if they had been removed in large numbers from Van 
Diemen's Land. Mr. Gilbert Robertson and his successor, 
Mr. G. A. Robinson, succeeded in removing about 130 
blacks to Flinders Island, where, although they were under 
the care of missionaries, they gradually died off. It was 
not recognised in those days that compelling the blacks to 
wear clothes induces skin diseases which soon prove fatal. 
The only way to preserve the Australian blacks is to leave 
them alone, and the knowledge of this fact came too late to 
save the Tasmanians. 

* Despatch dated June 27th, 1835. 


Pierce the Cannibal ; A Terrible Journey ; A Shocking Confession ; 
Escapes from " the Western Hell " ; The Ruffian Jefferies ; 
Brady the Bushranger ; Escapes from Macquarie Harbour ; 
Sticks up the Town of Sorell ; The Governor's Proclamation ; 
Brady Laughs at it ; The Fight with Colonel Balfour ; Betrayed by 
a Comrade ; Captured by John Batman ; Sympathy at his Trial ; 
End of the Epoch. 

IN a despatch to the Colonial Secretary in 1822, Lieutenant 
Governor Arthur said that bushranging had been " totally 
suppressed in Van Diemen's Land during the past three 
years," or since the breaking up of Howe's gang. But 
the happy conditions suggested by this report were not 
destined to last. There was still a number of 
runaways or bolters in the bush, but bushranging had 
by this time come to mean the commission of more 
serious crimes than petty larceny, and it was in this sense 
that the Governor made use of the term. We have, how- 
ever, not yet arrived at the time when others, besides 
highwaymen, can be excluded. The next illustration is, 
perhaps, the most terrible of all the events connected with 
bushranging, although it concerns only the bushrangers 
themselves. On September zoth, 1822, Alexander Pierce, 
Bob Greenhill, Mathew Travers, Thomas Bodenham, Bill 
Cornelius or Kenelly, James Brown, John Mathers, and 
Alexander Dalton made their escape from the recently- 
founded penal station at Macquarie Harbour. According 
to Pierce's confession it appears that they " made it up for 
to take a boat " and proceed to Hobart Town. Greenhill 
being at work at the mines, " we had to call for him, he 
beina a good navigator." Greenhill smashed up the miners' 


chests with an axe, and took all their provisions. " We 
then put out all the fires with buckets of water, so that the 
miners could not signal our escape ; but, when we were a 
quarter of a mile out we saw fires all along the beach, so 
we could not have put them all out. We thought a boat 
would be despatched after us, so we went a little further 
and then landed. We knew it was no use trying to go by 
water, so we broke up the boat. We then proceeded to 
the side of the mountain right opposite the settlement. We 
were afraid that Dr. Spence or the Commandant would see 
us with the spy glass, the settlement being so plain to us. 
So we agreed to lie down until the sun went round. When 
the sun was behind the hill we went to the top, kindled a 
fire, and camped all night. Next morning we started again, 
and walked all day. Little Brown, who came back, and 
died in the hospital, was the worst walker of all. He was 
always behind, and kept cooeying. So we said we would 
leave him behind if he did not keep up. We kept off 
Gordon River for fear the soldiers might be after 
us. We travelled from daylight till dark night over very 
rough country for eight days. We were very weak for want 
of provisions. Our tinder got wet and we were very cold 
and hungry. Bill Cornelius said ' I'm so hungry I could 
eat a piece of a man.' The next morning there were four 
of us for a feast. Bob Greenhill said he had ' seen the like 
done before and it eat much like pork.' Mathers spoke 
out and said it would be murder ; and perhaps then we 
could not eat it. ' I'll warrant you,' said Greenhill, ' I'll 
eat the first bit ; but, you must all lend a hand, so that we'll 
all be equal in the crime.' We consulted about who 
should fall, and Greenhill said, ' Daltdn, he volunteered to 
be a flogger. We will kill him.' We made a bit of a 
breakwind with boughs, and about three in the morning 
Dalton was asleep. Then Greenhill struck him on the 
head with an axe and he never spoke after. Greenhill 
called Travers, and he cut Dalton's throat to bleed him. 
Then we dragged him away a bit and cut him up. Travers 
and Greenhill put his heart and liver on the fire and ate 
them before they were right warm. The others refused to 
eat any that night, but the next morning it was cut up and 
divided and we all got our share. We started a little after 


sunrise. One man was appointed each day to walk ahead 
and make a road. He carried nothing but a tomahawk. 
The others carried the things. This morning Cornelius and 
Brown said they would go ahead together and carry the 
pots. We had not gone far when the leaders were missing. 
We went back to look for them, but could see no signs of 
them. We said, ' They will go back and hang us all,' but 
we thought they would not find the way, so we went on. 
We walked for four days through bad country, till we 
came to a big river. We thought it was the Gordon. 
We stopped a day and two nights looking for a place 
to cross. We felled trees, but the stream was too 
strong and carried them away. Travers and Bodenham 
couldn't swim, but at last we got over and cut a pole thirty 
or forty feet long and reached it across, where there was a 
rock jutting out into the river, and pulled them across. We 
got up the hill with great difficulty, it was so steep. The 
ground was very barren on the other side, and covered with 
scrub. We were very weak and hungry. A consultation 
was held as to who should be the next victim. Bodenham 
did not know anything about it, and it was resolved to kill 
him. Me and Mathers went to gather wood, Travers saying, 
' You'll hear it directly.' About two minutes after Mathers 
said, 'He's done; Greenhill hit him with the axe and 
Travers cut his throat.' Greenhill took Bodenham's shoes 
and put them on, for his own were very bad. We ate only 
the heart and liver that night. Next day we camped and 
dried the meat. We travelled on for three days, and saw 
many emus and kangaroos, but could not catch them. 
Mathers and me went away together, and Mathers said, 
' Let us go on by ourselves. You see what kind of a cove 
Greenhill is. He'd kill his own father before he'd fast for a 
day.' We travelled on for two days more. We boiled a 
piece of the meat, and it made Mathers so sick that he 
began to vomit. Greenhill started up and hit him on the 
forehead with the axe. Although he was cut, he was still 
stronger than Greenhill. He called out, ' Pierce, will you 
see me murdered ? ' and rushed at Greenhill. He took the 
axe from him and threw it to me. We walked on till night, 
and then Travers and Greenhill collared Mathers and got 
him down. They gave him half an hour to pray. When 


the half-hour was up Mathers handed the prayer-book to me 
and Greenhill killed him. When crossing the second tier of 
mountains Travers got his foot stung by an insect and it 
swelled up. On the other side we got to a big river and camped 
for two nights. Me and Greenhill swam across and cut a 
long wattle, and pulled Travers over as he could not swim. 
Here the country got better and we travelled well for two 
days. Then Travers' foot got black, and he said he couldn't 
go any further. He asked us to leave him to die in peace. 
When we were a little way away, Greenhill said : ' Pierce, 
it's no use for to be detained any longer ; let's serve him 
like the rest.' I replied, ' I'll have no hand in it.' When 
we went back Travers was lying on his back asleep. It was 
about two o'clock in the day. Greenhill lifted the axe and 
hit him on the head, and then cut his throat. We crossed 
the third tier of mountains and got into fine country, the 
grass being very long. Greenhill began to fret, and said he 
would never reach a post. I watched Greenhill for two 
nights and thought that he eyed me more than usual. He 
always carried the axe and kept it under his head when 
lying down. At length, just before day-break, Greenhill 
dozed off to sleep, and I snatched the axe and killed him 
with a blow. I took a thigh and one arm and travelled on 
four more days until the last was eaten. I then walked for 
two days with nothing to eat. I took off my belt meaning 
to hang myself, but took another turn and travelled on till I 
came to a fire with some pieces of kangaroo and opossum 
lying beside it. I ate as much as I could and carried the 
rest away. Some days later I came to a marsh. I saw a 
duck with ten young ones. I jumped into the water and 
the duck flew off, while the little ones dived. Two of them 
came up close to my legs and I caught one in each hand. 
Next day I saw a large mountain, and thought it was Table 
Mountain. Then I came to a big river and travelled 
down it for two days. I came on a flock of sheep 
belonging to Tom Triffet, at the falls, and caught a 
lamb. While I was eating it the shepherd came up and 
said he would tell. I threatened to shoot him. Then he 
got friendly and took me to the hut, and fed me for three 
days. Then he told me that the master was coming up and I'd 
have to go. I went to another hut and stayed three weeks. 


Then I fell in with Davis and Cheetham and they said I 
could join them. They had 126 newly-marked sheep and 
said they were going to select some more. I shepherded 
the mob while they were away. They continued robbing 
the stations until the soldiers came. The soldiers captured 
the gang except Bill Davis, who snatched up his gun and 
ran away, Corporal Kelly followed and called on him to 
stop. As he kept on Kelly fired and missed, when Davis 
turned round and said, 'I've got you now.' Kelly cried 
out ' Murder,' and the other soldiers ran forward and fired. 
Davis was wounded in the arm and gave in." 

The confession may here be very much abridged, as the 
account he gives of his acts is very rambling. About 250 
sheep, a gold watch, two silver watches, and a number of 
other articles were found at the camp. Several of the gang 
were hung and the others sentenced to long terms of penal 
servitude. Pierce denied having taken any active share in 
the robberies, and as he was merely found in charge of the 
stolen, or as he euphoniously calls them "the selected," 
sheep, he was sent back to Macquarie Harbour to be dealt 
with as a bolter. On November i6th, 1823, Pierce again 
absconded from Macquarie Harbour in company with 
Thomas Cox. On the 2ist, as the schooner Waterloo was 
sailing down the harbour, a man was observed standing on 
the shore and signalling with smoke from a fire. These 
signals had also been observed from the settlement, and a 
boat was despatched from there. The boat sent by Mr. 
Lucas from the schooner reached the place at the same 
time that the boat from the settlement arrived. On land- 
ing it was found that Alexander Pierce had made the 
fire, and he was immediately arrested by Lieutenant Cuthert- 
son. Pierce said that he had killed Cox and eaten part of 
the body. He volunteered to show where the remainder 
was. On going to the place it was found that all the fleshy 
parts had been cut away, leaving the bones and viscera. It 
is impossible that Pierce could have committed this murder 
through want of food. He had only been away from the 
settlement for a few days, and some flour, a piece of pork, 
some bread, and a few fish, which Pierce and Cox had 
stolen from a party of hunters, were found at the camp. 
Before his trial Pierce said that he had been so horror-struck 


at the crime he had committed that, when he signalled, he 
did not know what he was about After his conviction, 
however, he said that man's flesh was delicious ; far better 
than fish or pork ; and his craving for it had led him to 
induce Cox to abscond so that he might kill and eat him. 
He was wearing the clothes of the murdered man when he 
was captured. Although he made no secret of his canni- 
balism after his conviction, but boasted about it, he is 
believed to have very much toned down his share in the 
murders perpetrated during that terrible journey across the 
Western Tiers. Possibly Greenhill may have been the 
moving spirit in these atrocities, but we have the fact that 
Pierce was the sole survivor, and he gives but a very brief 
account of the last struggle between himself and Greenhill. 
We can conceive something of it. Pierce was the larger and 
stronger man, but Greenhill was active though small, and 
moreover he carried the axe. The two men probably 
pretended to be actuated by friendly feelings towards each 
other ; each one endeavouring to put the other off his 
guard ; but each knew that the other was only watching 
for an opportunity to slay him. For two days they walked 
side by side at a safe distance apart ; each afraid to let 
the other get behind him, or near enough, to spring 
upon him ; and each was also afraid to allow the other to 
get out of sight because of the certainty that he would 
merely dog him through the scrub until an opportunity to 
strike occurred. For two nights they sat facing each other, 
a short distance apart, each afraid to go to sleep or to allow 
the other to go out of sight. If one rose up the other 
started to his feet immediately. Every slight movement of 
one caused the other to be on the alert. The tension must 
have been fearful. At length, when the second night was 
drawing to a close, Greenhill could bear up no longer. He 
dozed, and Pierce sprang on him at once. That is some- 
thing like the tradition handed down among the "old 
hands," who knew nothing of Pierce's confession, but who 
had heard the tale from companions of the cannibal himself. 
There was a time when it was frequently told round the 
camp fire in rough, coarse language, plentifully intermingled 
with profanity, but the old hands have died out and it is 
heard no longer. Pierce, the cannibal, has been almost 


forgotten, and yet the story has its moral. It affords us an 
example of the terrible depths of degradation to which men 
can be reduced by brutal treatment, and it is not good that 
the story of Alexander Pierce should be forgotten as long as 
any remains of the old prison discipline which produced 
such men continues to exist, either in Australia or in any 
other civilised country. 

The settlement at Macquarie Harbour, " the Western 
Hell," as the convicts called it, was opened as a penal 
station on January the 3rd, 1822, and from that time until 
its removal to Port Arthur in May, 1827, one hundred and 
twelve prisoners ran away. Of these, seventy-four are 
reported to have " perished in the woods." The remains of 
a number of men have been found at various times ; but, as 
a rule, too late for identification, and therefore the official 
records do not assert positively that these men did perish, 
but only that, as nothing had been seen or heard of them for 
long periods, and remains supposed to be theirs had been 
found, it was reasonable to assume that they had perished. 
Two returned, as related by Pierce, namely Bill Cornelius 
or Kenelly and James Brown. On both these men portions 
of the murdered man Dalton were found, and Cornelius was 
punished as a bolter. Brown, however, was too ill, and was 
admitted to the hospital, where he died. Eight of the 
hundred and twelve runaways from Macquarie Harbour are 
reported to have reached Port Dalrymple or some other 
settlement, but in each case the official report bears the 
significant note, " wants confirmation." Five men were 
eaten as related. Three were picked up in a wretched 
condition on the beach by the steamer Waterloo, three 
others of the same gang being included among those who 
perished. Two were shot ; two found dead. This leaves 
sixteen, and these are known to have reached the settled 
districts. Of these, Pierce was one. Every precaution was 
taken at Macquarie Harbour to prevent bolting. A line of 
posts was established across the neck of land between 
Pirates' Bay and Storm Bay, and fierce dogs were chained 
at these places to give notice when any one passed or 
approached. This use of dogs gave rise to a report in 
England that bloodhounds were used in Van Diemen's 
Land to track runaway convicts or bushrangers. This, 


however, was shown not to be true. The dogs were used 
as watch dogs and not as hunting or tracking dogs.* 

Three other men who ran away from Macquarie Harbour 
were Jefferies, Hopkins, and Russell. Like Pierce and his 
mates they started to cross the Western Tiers. They lived 
fairly well for several days, Jefferies having a gun and 
ammunition which he had stolen, it is supposed, from a 
soldier, but at length their provisions failed and they could 
find no game. They therefore agreed to toss up to decide 
who should die to save the others. Russell lost and was 
immediately shot by Jefferies. The two men lived on the 
flesh for five days, when they came to a sheep station. They 
immediately threw away about five pounds weight of 
Russell's flesh and killed two sheep. The shepherd ran 
forward at the sound of the shots, when Jefferies told him 
that if he interfered he would " soon be settled." They only 
wanted "a good feed." Jefferies and Hopkins appear to 
have adopted bushranging as a profession. Of Hopkins we 
hear little, but Jefferies established a character for brutality 
which has been rivalled by few and surpassed by none. 
When he bailed up Mr. Tibbs's house he ordered Mr. and 
Mrs. Tibbs and their stockman to go into the bushes with 
him. The stockman refused and was immediately shot. 
The other two then went across the cleared paddock 
towards the timbered country, Mrs. Tibbs carrying her 
baby and Jefferies walking behind. When near the 
edge of the timber Jefferies ordered Mrs. Tibbs to walk 
faster. The poor woman was weeping bitterly. She 
sobbed out that she was walking as fast as she could 
with the baby in her arms. Jefferies immediately snatched 
the baby from her and dashed its brains out against a 
sapling. Then he asked her " Can you go faster now ? " 
Mr. Tibbs turned round and rushed at the bushranger, who 
shot him, and then walked away, leaving Mrs. Tibbs with her 
dead and dying. At Georgetown Jefferies stuck up and 
robbed Mr. Baker and then compelled him to carry his 
knapsack. They had not, however, walked far along the 
road when Jefferies, who was behind, shot Mr. Baker 
without warning and for no apparent cause. Jefferies was 

* Report of the Select Committee of the House of Commons, 1838. 


captured by John Batman, a native of Parramatta, New 
South Wales, and afterwards one of the founders of the 
city of Melbourne, Victoria. Batman had taken several 
Australian aborigines to Van Diemen's Land and was 
engaged by the Government to track and capture bush- 
rangers. He caught Hopkins and several others. A man 
named Broughton, who had been captured a short time 
before, was convicted of murder and cannibalism shortly 
before Jefferies and Hopkins were brought to trial. 

It is quite a relief to turn from these monsters in human 
form to Mathew Brady, the central figure among the bush- 
rangers of this epoch. Brady was a gentleman convict : 
that is, he was an educated man. He was transported to 
" Botany Bay " for forgery, the capital sentence having been 
commuted. In Sydney he soon " got into trouble " for 
insubordination and was retransported to Van Diemen's 
Land. He was one of a gang of fourteen who effected 
their escape from Macquarie Harbour. His companions 
in this enterprise were James Bryant, John Burns, James 
Crawford, James McCabe, Patrick Connolly, John Griffiths, 
George Lacey, Charles Rider, Jeremiah Ryan, John 
Thompson, Isaac Walker, and John Downes. They 
stole a whale boat on June 7th, 1824, and pulled round 
the coast until they came to a favourable place for 
landing, from whence they walked to the settled districts. 
Here they were joined by James Tierney, and for some 
two years they defied the authorities. In company with 
the "notorious Dunne," Brady stuck up Mr. Robert 
Bethune's house near Hobart Town when the males of 
the family were away. In the evening Mr. Walter Bethune 
and Captain Bannister returned from the city on horseback, 
and Brady went out to meet them. He told the two 
gentlemen that they were prisoners and that resistance was 
useless. They were taken by surprise, and unarmed, and 
surrendered at once. Brady called one of his men to 
" take the gentlemen's horses to the stables and see that 
they were cared for," and then conducted the gentlemen 
into the parlour as if he were the host and they merely 
visitors. The ladies of the family and the servants, except 
the cook, were already gathered there, and Brady ordered 
dinner and invited those present to take their seats at the 


table. He himself sat down, while his companions had 
food taken to them at the stations where he had placed 
them on guard. When the meal was over Brady made a 
collection of watches, rings, money, and other valuables, 
and then, after profusely thanking Mr. Bethune for his 
hospitable treatment and the kind reception he had given 
them, the whole gang mounted and rode away. On 
the following evening he rode into the little town 
of Sorell. The soldiers stationed there had been out 
kangarooing, and were cleaning their muskets. Taken 
completely by surprise, they were easily overpowered, and 
were locked up in the gaol, the prisoners being released. 
Mr. Long, the gaoler, contrived to make his escape, and 
ran to the residence of Dr. Garrett. Here he found 
Lieutenant Green, who was in command of the military 
stationed at the town. The doctor and the lieutenant 
walked together to the gaol, and the doctor was seized by 
Brady's orders and placed in a cell Green refused to 
surrender, and was shot in the arm by one of the bush- 
rangers and overcome. The bushrangers made a good 
haul from the houses in the town, and then left quietly. 
The only personal injury inflicted was the wound received 
by Lieutenant Green, who was forced to have his arm 

On August 27th, 1824, Governor Arthur issued a 
proclamation offering rewards for the capture of Brady, 
McCabe, Dunne, Murphy, and other bushrangers, and 
calling upon all Crown servants and respectable citizens 
to aid the soldiers in their capture. 

By way of reply, Brady and his gang paid a visit to Mr. 
Young's house at Lake River. It was late at night, but the 
bushrangers soon roused the inmates up. After having 
secured the men, Brady enquired whether there were any 
ladies inside, and on being told that there were he issued 
an order to them to get up and dress at once, and to go 
into any room they pleased, pledging his word that they 
should not be interfered with. While this was being done 
Brady sat on the verandah chatting with Mr. Young. 
Among other things he spoke of the Governor's proclama- 
tion, and asked whether Mr. Young had seen it. He 
laughed heartily at the idea of the soldiers capturing him. 


While the chief was thus employed the other members of 
the gang searched every room of the house, and collected 
everything they thought worth taking. The ladies had all 
gone into one room, and when the rest of the house had 
been searched they were requested to leave that room and 
go into another. 

One day Brady walked alone into a house close to the 
town and "made a swag" of all that was valuable. He 
then called two of the convict servants and ordered them to 
take up the bundles and carry them for him into the bush. 
He was obeyed because it was believed that his gang was 
not far off, and the owner of the property saw it carried 
away without making an effort to preserve it. On another 
occasion Brady ordered an assigned servant to leave his 
master's house and join the band. The man refused. 
Brady walked to the sideboard, filled a glass with rum, and 
asked the man whether he could drink that ? The man 
said he never took strong liquor. "Well, you will this 
time," exclaimed Brady, pointing his pistol at the servant's 
head. " Now choose." The man took the glass and 
swallowed the rum. Brady laughed heartily as he staggered 
away. However, the next morning, the unfortunate man 
was found lying in the bush some distance from the house. 
His dog was lying beside him licking his face. He was 
still drunk. His employer, who found him, tried to rouse 
him up, and after he had shaken and called for some 
minutes the man opened his eyes, called out " Water, for 
God's sake, water ! " and rolled over dead. When Brady 
was informed some time after of the man's death, he said he 
was very sorry. He had made him drink the rum as a joke 
and without any thought or desire to injure him. 

Brady stuck up the Duke of York Inn, and finding 
Captain Smith there, knocked him down, having mistaken 
him for Colonel Balfour. On discovering his mistake the 
bushranger apologised. He then threatened to shoot 
Captain White, but on Captain Smith saying that White had 
a wife and family Brady told the two officers to go away. 
He " hated soldiers " and did not know what he might do 
if they stayed. 

Colonel Balfour, of the 4Qth regiment, with a strong 
party of soldiers, had been beating the bush for some time 


in hopes of capturing Brady and his gang. A report spread 
abroad that the gang intended to break open the Laun- 
ceston gaol and torture and shoot Mr. Jefferies. The threat 
was treated with derision, but about 10 a,m. a man came 
into the town and said that the bushrangers had taken 
possession of Mr. Dry's place, just outside the town. 
Colonel Balfour, with ten soldiers and some volunteers, 
started out and a fierce fight took place. Ultimately the 
bushrangers were driven off, but not before they had secured 
Mr. Dry's horses. The soldiers followed, and the bush- 
rangers fired from behind the trees. Suddenly a report 
spread that the attack on Dry's place was a ruse to 
draw the soldiers from the town, and that a party of bush- 
rangers under Bird and Dunne had gone to attack the gaol. 
Colonel Balfour sent half his force back to protect the 
town. The report was found to be partly true. The bush- 
rangers had entered the town and had robbed Mr. Wedge's 
house, but had not gone to the gaol. At Dr. Priest's house 
some shots were exchanged, and the doctor was wounded 
in the knee, but the soldiers coming up at the time the 
bushrangers made off. 

The following day the gang made an attack on the 
farms of the Messrs. Walker. They burned the wheat- 
stacks and barns belonging to Mr. Abraham Walker and 
also those of Mr. Commissary Walker. They had Mr. 
Dry's two carriage horses, which they had stolen the day 
before. Brady was wearing Colonel Balfour's cap, which 
had fallen off in the fight at Launceston. On the next day 
they burned down the house of Mr. Massey at South 
Esk, having sent him a letter a day or two before informing 
him of their intention. 

Two of the gang called on Thomas Renton, and shouted 
for him to come out. On his doing so, they charged him 
with having attempted to betray them. Renton denied the 
charge. A wrangle took place, during which one of the 
bushrangers shot Renton dead. It is highly improbable 
that Brady was aware of this outrage. He boasted loudly 
on every available occasion that he never killed a man 
intentionally, and he is known to have quarrelled with mem- 
bers of his gang who were too ready with their firearms. 
Thus he drove McCabe out of the gang on account of his 


brutality, and McCabe was captured and hung shortly 

The gang held almost complete control over the roads, 
and resistance was very rarely offered when they ordered a 
man to " bail up."* One of the customs established by the 
gang was to order their witnesses to remain where they were 
for half an hour, and the order was rarely disobeyed. Any 
person who declined to promise to remain was simply tied 
to a tree and left for any chance passer-by to unloose. In 
by-roads, or in those cases where the prisoners were marched 
some distance off the high road into the bush before being 
plundered, being tied up was a very serious matter. Cases 
are known to have occurred in which men have remained 
bound to a tree until they have died of starvation. From 
this time forward tying up the victims was a common 
practice with bushrangers, though some like Brady accepted 
the promise of the victims to remain where they were left 
for a certain time to allow the bushrangers time to get away. 

At length about the middle of 1825 a convict named 
Cowan or Cohen was permitted to escape from an iron gang 
with broken fetters on his legs. He was found by some of 
the gang and was taken to a friendly blacksmith who 
knocked his irons off for him. He joined the gang and more 
than once led them into conflicts with the soldiers out of 
which only the skill and bravery of Brady delivered them. 
Cowan was no doubt a clever man in his way; he completely 
hoodwinked Brady and his mates; he fought bravely in their 
skirmishes with the troops and was always eager in looting 
houses or other places attacked. He professed to rob " on 
principle." He is said to have murdered the bushrangers 
Murphy and Williams while they slept, but there is no proof 
of this. He betrayed the camp to Lieutenant Williams of 

* The first supply of horned cattle for Australia was obtained from 
Capetown, South Africa, big-boned, slab-sided animals, with enormous 
horns. These animals are much more active than the fine-boned, heavy- 
bodied, short-horned, or other fine breeds, but they can never be properly 
tamed. It is always unsafe to milk one of these cows unless her head is 
fastened in "a bail," and her leg tied. When driving the cows into the 
bail it was the custom to order them to "bail up." It was also usual for 
bullock drivers when yoking their teams to call out "bail up" to the 
bullocks, although no bail was used for this purpose. The words were in 
constant use all over Australia, and were adopted by the early bushrangers 
in the sense of " stand." 


the 4oth regiment, who was out with a party of soldiers in 
search of bushrangers. A terrific fight took place in which 
several were killed on each side ; some of the bushrangers 
were captured while others escaped, but the gang was broken 
up. Cowan is said to have received a free pardon, several 
hundreds of pounds reward, and a free passage home for his 

Brady made his escape in the bush and was followed by 
Batman and his black trackers. The bushranger had been 
wounded in the fight and could not travel fast. Batman 
came up to him in the mountains and called on him to 
surrender. "Are you an officer?" asked Brady, coolly 
cocking his gun. "I'm not a soldier," replied Batman, 
" I'm John Batman. If you raise that gun I'll shoot. 
There's no chance for you." " You're right," replied Brady, 
" my time's come. You're a brave man and I yield ; but, 
I'd never give in to a soldier." Brady was taken to the 
nearest lock-up, where, as it happened, Jefferies, the 
cannibal, had been lodged some days before, and much to 
Brady's disgust the two men were conveyed to Hobart Town 
in the same cart. Brady, however, refused to sit on the same 
side of the cart as Jefferies, and kept as far from him as 
possible during the journey. 1 

The trial of Mathew Brady excited great interest. He 
and his gang had kept the country in a ferment for twenty- 
two months. Many of his companions had been shot or 
captured, but the leader had escaped. One of his mates, 
James Crawford, who had escaped with him from Macquarie 
Harbour, but who had been shot by the soldiers some time 
before the break up of the gang, was said to have been a 
lieutenant in the army.| Numerous stories were told to 
illustrate his reckless bravery, his skill in strategy, or some 
other trait of his character. On the day of his trial a 
number of ladies were in the court, and when the verdict of 
guilty was returned, and the judge put on the black cap, 
they showed their sympathy by weeping so loudly that the 
judge had to pause until order was restored, and sentence 

* History of Van Diemen's Land in the Launceston Advertiser, 1840. 
+ Hobart Town Gaxette, 1826. 
% Launcestott Advertiser, 1840. 


of death was pronounced amid signs of sorrow by all 

At the same sessions Jefferies, Hopkins, Bryant, Tilly, 
McKenny, Brown, Gregory, Hodgetts, and Perry were 
sentenced to death for bushranging, cattle, horse, and sheep 
stealing, and for murder. Some of these had been " in the 
bush " with Brady. The last of the batch was hung on 
April zgth, 1826, the prisoners being hung two or three at 
a time at intervals of a few days. 

The remnant of the gang under the command of Dunne 
continued for a time to commit depredations. In one of 
their journeys they saw a tribe of blacks camped on the 
other side of the river. Dunne swam across and attacked 
them. He fought them for some time driving them 
back until he seized one of the women, when he turned 
back forcing her to accompany him across the river. 
He had this black girl with him when an attack was 
made on Mr. Thomson's house, but she escaped. On 
the following day two men were quietly driving in a 
cart along the road when the blacks attacked and speared 
them, killing one and wounding the other. The blacks 
went on and burned the hut of Mr. Nicholas. They 
attacked Mr. Thomson's place, and speared a man named 
Scott. The woman who had been stolen by Dunne was 
present urging the blacks on when Scott was killed. The 
troops were sent out to drive the blacks back, and while so 
engaged came across the bushrangers and shot Dunne. 
One or two were captured and hung as related. 

The Hobart Town Gazette, of the 2gth of April, 1826, 
said that for some months the roads had been safe, 
and with the executions to take place that day, the colony 
might be congratulated on having at length stamped out the 
crime of bushranging. As a fact, it was only the close of 
the first epoch; the first act in the great bushranging 
tragedy which was to close so sensationally more than fifty 
years later. 

* Hobart Town Gazette. 


Bushranging in New South Wales ; Manufacturing Bushrangers } 
Employing Bushrangers ; The First Bank Robbery in Australia ; 
Major Mudie and his Assigned Servants ; Terrible Hollow ; 
Murder of Dr. Wardell ; The Story of Jack the Rammer ; Hall 
Mayne and Others. 

BUSHRANGING of the more serious character with which 
we are concerned, appears to have begun in New South 
Wales in about 1822. In that year thirty-four bushrangers 
were hung in Sydney. The crimes for which these nn n 
were executed were generally of a petty descriptioi . 
Robberies of articles from the farms had become to 
prevalent that it was deemed expedient to adopt severe 
measures, but beyond removing so many evil-doers and 
preventing them from continuing their depredations, this 
severity of the judicial authorities does not appear to have 
had much effect. Bushranging not only continued, but the 
bushrangers became bolder and operated over a wider area. 
On March i6th, 1826, a desperate fight took place between 
a party of mounted troopers and seven bushrangers near 
Bathurst. The Blue Mountains had only been crossed 
thirteen years before, and the settlement was a very small 
one. The leader of the gang, Morris Connell, was shot 
dead by Corporal Brown, and the other bushrangers ran 
away into the bush. 

The Sydney Monitor of September 22nd reports that a 
shepherd on Mr. H. Macarthur's run at Argyle ran away 
into the bush. He was captured, and taken to Goulburn 
to be tried for absconding. He complained that he had 
not received his proper allowance of rations, and had gone 
to seek for food. He was of course found guilty, and, 
when sentenced to be flogged, he sulkily said, " It's in the 
power of the likes of me to have revenge when lambing 


time comes round." For this threat he was sent to 
Liverpool for trial. He was convicted, and as a warning to 
other shepherds he was sentenced to receive five hundred 
lashes and to be transported to a penal settlement for life. 
The Monitor denounced this sentence as being " unduly 
harsh," and spoke of the heavy sentences given whenever 
the Rev. Samuel Marsden, Principal Chaplain of New 
South Wales, took his seat on the Bench. The chaplains 
were at that time all ex officio magistrates, and the Rev. 
Samuel Marsden was said to be very active in the discharge 
of this portion of his duties. It is of Mr. Marsden that Mr. 
J. T. Bigge says "His sentences are not only more severe 
than those of other magistrates, but the general opinion 
of the colony is that his character, as displayed in the 
administrations of the penal law of New South Wales, is 
stamped with severity."* Judging from the sentence under 
notice, it does not appear that the reverend gentleman 
had become any more merciful since Commissioner Bigge 
compiled his report some years before. The Monitor 
charged him with " helping to manufacture bushrangers." 
In this connection I may mention that the opinion 
expressed by the " old hands " was that the clerical 
magistrates were generally far more cruel and brutal than 
the lay magistrates, and this opinion was crystallised into a 
cant phrase which was current among the old hands many 
years later. It was " The Lord have mercy on you, for his 
reverence will have none." This phrase was used on all 
occasions, whether it was appropriate or not to the subject 
under discussion or the circumstances of the time. 

In the Windsor Court on February roth, 1827, Mr. 
McCarthy was fined 14 ios., including costs, for having 
employed a returned bushranger instead of handing him 
over to the police for punishment. About the same time a 
bushranger was charged in Sydney with having bailed up a 
settler's house and compelled him to hand over some money 
and a bottle of wine. Taking the wine was an aggravation 
of the offence which was more than the worthy magistrate 
could stand. " What right," he demanded of the delinquent, 
" have you to drink wine ? Do you not know, you rascal, 

* Commission of Enquiry into the state of New South Wales, 1823. 


that when you were convicted you forfeited all rights?" 
" Yes, your honour," replied the culprit, " But, I didn't 
forfeit my appetite." 

The robbery of the Bank of Australia does not properly, 
perhaps, come under the head of bushranging, but as the 
later bushrangers made bank robbery a feature of their 
depredations the record would not be complete if this, the 
first and in some respects the most remarkable of the bank 
robberies which have taken place in Australia, was 
omitted. The Bank of Australia was established in 
1826 and was spoken of as the "new bank" to distin- 
guish it from the older Bank of New South Wales. It 
was also sometimes called " the squatters' bank." Its 
president was Mr. John Macarthur, the first of the 
squatters. It was situated in George Street, Sydney. 
The strong room was constructed under ground, 
and had walls nine feet thick. Near the foundation of the 
bank was a large drain or shore, one of the openings of 
which was on an unoccupied plot of ground on the opposite 
side of the street to that in which the bank stood. The 
other end of the drain terminated on the shore of the 
harbour. Into this drain the thieves must have entered, 
and judging from the amount of work done and the quantity 
of the remains of provisions found afterwards they must 
have been at work for a week or more. As they were too 
deep underground for the strokes of their picks or hammers 
to be heard, they may have worked night and day. How- 
ever that may be, they took the bricks out of the side of the 
drain facing the bank and then dug a tunnel until they 
reached the foundations of the bank. How they disposed 
of the earth dug out is not known, but it was surmised that 
they carried it away in bags. With great labour they 
dislodged a stone at the corner of the foundations, and then 
gradually enlarged the hole until there was sufficient room 
for a man to get through. Having effected an entrance in this 
way into the strong room, they found there forty boxes each 
containing ^100 worth of British silver coins; a smaller box 
containing two thousand sovereigns; a box containing 
one thousand dollars, and another containing five hundred 
dollars. But the robbers took only the two boxes con- 
taining dollars and seven of the forty boxes containing 


British silver; leaving thirty-three boxes of silver and the 
box of sovereigns. They took also some bundles of bank 
notes, amounting to between ten and twelve thousand 
pounds worth. The forty boxes of silver weighed a ton, and 
it was believed that the thieves had been disturbed by some 
noise before they had time to remove so great a quantity. 
The locks on the boxes left in the vault were found to have 
been so rusted by damp as to be useless. No arrests were 
made and no traces of the robbers could be found. Notifica- 
tions were issued denying that the loss, heavy as it was, would 
affect the stability of the bank, but it appears that it never 
recovered. In 1833 it was re-organised. In 1845 the 
Government passed a Lottery Bill to enable the bank to 
raise money, but to no purpose. The bank failed in 1848 
and caused a great many other failures and much distress. 
The robbery was discovered on September i5th, 1828, and 
was reported in the Monitor of the 2oth. 

There has been much speculation in Sydney from time 
to time as to what became of the money stolen, and it has 
been reported that the thieves buried it somewhere on the 
shores of Snail's, or White Bay, or some other place on the 
opposite side of the Harbour to Sydney, but although several 
persons have searched for the hidden treasure, it has not 
yet been found. There is a somewhat similar legend of 
buried treasure at North Sydney. The story is, that a sum 
of money variously stated at one thousand and two thousand 
guineas, sent out in early times from England to pay the 
troops, was stolen from the ship while she lay at her anchor 
and was buried either near Mosman's Bay or Great Sirius 
Cove. This also has been searched for at various times but 
hitherto without success. What truth there is in these 
legends it is now impossible to say. 

John Poole, James Ryan, and James Riley, assigned 
servants of Mr. John Larnack, son-in-law of Major James 
Mudie, of Castle Forbes estate, Patrick's Plains, Hunter 
River district, took to the bush on November 4th, 1833. 
Three other assigned servants, Anthony Hitchcock, alias 
Hath, Samuel Parrott or Powell, and David Jones, were sent 
away the following morning, in charge of constable 
Samuel Cook, to Maitland, under sentence of twelve months, 
in a chain gang for insubordination About half-a-mile 


from Castle Forbes, Poole, Ryan, and Riley, and another 
man named John Perry, who had been in the bush for some 
time previously, met the constable and called on him to 
stand or they would shoot him. Cook only had a pistol 
with him and he snapped it at the robbers and then 
surrendered. The robbers took the pistol from him, led him 
some distance off the road and tied him to a tree. Parrott 
refused to go with the bushrangers and was tied to a tree 
near Cook. The robbers went back to Mr. Larnack's 
house which they reached about noon. They called upon 
Mrs. Larnack to stand, but she and one of the female 
servants jumped through a window and ran. Perry 
followed them and brought them back, threatening to blow 
Mrs. Larnack's brains out if she refused to do as she was 
told. The robbers took a double-barrelled gun which was 
always kept loaded in Mr. Larnack's room, and some guns 
and fowling pieces from the dining-room. Hitchcock 
brought the shearers from the shed, walking behind them 
and threatening to shoot any man who resisted. The 
robbers broke open the door of the store and put the 
shearers inside. They emptied a chest of tea into a bag, 
took bags of flour, sugar, and other provisions from the 
store, and fastened up the door leaving Perry on guard. 
They took a quantity of pork from the kitchen, a bucket of 
milk from the dairy, and the silver-plate and other valuables 
from the house. Then, having made the shearers secure in 
the store and locked Mrs. Larnack and the female servants 
in the kitchen, they went away after having told Mrs. 

Larnack that they were sorry " the old ," the Major, 

was not at home, as they wanted to settle him. One of 
them also expressed sorrow at the absence of Mr. Larnack, 
and added that when they could catch him they would 
" stick his head on the chimney for an ornament." As 
soon as the news of the robbery became known, a party was 
organised to follow the bushrangers. Mr. Robert Scott, 
mounted trooper Daniel Craddige, and a party of five came 
up with the robbers at Mr. Reid's station, Lamb's Valley. 
Some shots were exchanged and then Jones and Perry 
ran away. Constable Craddige followed them and called 
on them to stand, and they did so. He took them back 
and by that time Mr. Scott and the rest of the pursuing 


party had captured Hitchcock, Poole and Riley. The 
boy Ryan got away in the scrub but was discovered and 
caught next day. Alexander Flood, overseer to Messrs. 
Robert and Helenes Scott, with two constables, took charge 
of the prisoners, and conducted them safely to Maitland 
for trial. Mr. John Larnack then said that on the morn- 
ing of the sth of November before the attack was made 
on the house, he was at the sheep-wash. The prisoners 
came up and said to the washers, " Come out of the water, 

every one of you, or we'll blow your brains out." 

Larnack jumped into the water among the washers. Hitch- 
cock fired at him shouting, " You'll never take me to court 

again, you ." He called on the washers to get out of 

the way and let him shoot the . Poole also said, " I'll 

take care you never get another man flogged." Larnack 
scrambled out of the wash-pool on the opposite side to 
where the robbers were, and ran to the timber. He went 
on to Mr. Danger's farm, and remained there till next day. 
He was only ten yards distant when Hitchcock fired at him. 
Shots from the other bushrangers struck the water within 
twelve and eighteen inches of him, but none of them hit 
him. The robbers had four double-barrelled guns, two 
single-barrelled fowling pieces, a musket, and two pistols, 
when they were captured. When asked what they had to 
say in defence, Hitchcock called Ensign Zouch and other 
gentlemen to speak as to his character. It appears that 
until he was assigned to Major Mudie and Mr. Larnack, he 
had always been well behaved. The prisoners complained 
that they were given short rations, that the flour was mouldy 
and the meat bad, and that they were repeatedly flogged. 
Some of them had been flogged for refusing to work on 
Sunday. Hitchcock had been sentenced to work in an iron 
gang, for an offence of which he knew nothing. Whatever 
punishment was threatened by the master was sure to be 
inflicted by the Bench. Jones was acquitted of the capital 
offence, but was sent to Norfolk Island for life. The other 
five prisoners were sentenced to death, Hitchcock and 
Poole being hung at Maitland, and Ryan, Perry and Riley 
at Sydney. An enquiry was held as to the alleged illusage 
of their assigned servants, by Major Mudie and Mr. Larnack, 
and they were acquitted by Governor Bourke of the charges 


of tyranny and ill-treatment, but Major Mudie's name was 
removed from the Commission of the Peace. On his return 
to the station after the result of the enquiry had become 
known, he was greeted with cries of " No more fifties now, 
you bloody old tyrant."* 

The beautiful valley of Burragorang is enclosed on all 
sides by precipitous mountains, there being only one prac- 
ticable entrance, which, in early times, before a government 
road was cut into it for the convenience of the farmers who 
now occupy the valley, was easily blocked with a few 
saplings, so that sheep, cattle, or horses turned into the 
valley could not escape. Precisely how the entrance to this 
extensive enclosure was first found is not known. It is 
believed, however, that it was discovered by a party of 
bushrangers, who endeavoured to discover a road over the 
Blue Mountains, in order to reach a settlement of white 
men, which was popularly supposed to lie somewhere in 
that direction. Whether this supposed settlement was a 
Dutch or an English settlement does not appear, but as I 
have already said, there was a wide-spread belief that some 
of these settlements were at no very great distance from 
Sydney, and could be reached overland. The valley is 
situated only about fifty-four miles from Sydney, and for 
many years was an absolutely secure hiding-place for bush- 
rangers and their plunder. Later on the valley came to be 
known, from the horrible tales told of the convicts who made 
use of it, as " Terrible Hollow," and under this name it is 
introduced by Rolf Boldrewood in his "Robbery under 
Arms." Among the old hands themselves it was known as 
" The Camp," " The Shelter," or " The Pound." Bark huts 
were erected in this valley by the bushrangers, and here 
they retired when hard pressed or when wounded. When 
the secret of the entrance was betrayed to the soldiers, who 
were out in search of a party of bushrangers, it was evident 
that the valley had been long in use by the bushrangers. 
Cattle and sheep were running wild there, numbers of 
broken shackles, handcuffs, and other relics were found, 
and, besides these, evidences that several murders 

* Select Committee of the House of Commons on Transportation. 
July, 1837. Major Mudie's evidence. 


had been committed there; but there are no records 
of these events, and only the recollections of the 
legends which have been handed down among the old 
hands remain to explain why this beautiful valley should 
have been called "Terrible Hollow." One of these 
legends may be told somewhat as follows : A settler was 
reported to have received a large sum of money. This 
became known to the bushrangers and they determined to 
rob him of it. They bailed up his place, tied his assigned 
servants, and searched everywhere for the money but could 
not find it. The settler declared that he had not received 
the money, but was not believed. He was threatened with 
death if he refused to disclose its hiding place. He per- 
sisted in his assertion that he had no money, and a 
consultation was held by the bushrangers to decide what 
should be done with him. Some were for shooting him 
there and then ; but, this was so evidently not the way to 
extort money, if he had any, that it was resolved to take 
him to " the camp," and there force him to say where the 
money was hidden. When they got him there they tied 
him to a sapling, built a circle of bushwood round him at 
some distance away, set fire to it, and slowly roasted him to 
death. His screams are said to have been fearful, but no 
one heard them in that solitude except the fiends who were 
torturing him, and they had been rendered too callous, by 
treatment little less fiendish by the authorities, to heed his 
agonised cries. Whether this story is literally true or not it 
is impossible to say, but certainly charred remains of human 
bones were discovered in the valley when it was searched, 
though whether the bodies had been burned before or after 
death could not, of course, be determined. 

It was to this valley that Will Underwood and his gang 
were said to retire when hard pressed or when they required 
a rest. Underwood operated on the roads about Camp- 
belltown, Liverpool, Penrith, and Windsor, sometimes 
sticking-up people, and robbing farms on Liberty Plains 
and other places between Parramatta and Sydney. The 
gang was a large one and continued to operate in the more 
populous districts for some two years. Among the members 
of this gang were Johnny Donohoe, Webber, and Walmsley. 
Donohoe was shot by a trooper named Maggleton, near 


Raby, in September, 1830. Webber was shot a month 
later, and Walmsley was captured in another skirmish 
between the troopers and the bushrangers. Walmsley was 
sentenced to death, but was reprieved for disclosing the 
names of " fences," or receivers of stolen property, and his 
revelations caused quite a sensation, a number of hitherto 
highly respected persons being implicated. Underwood 
was shot in 1832, and shortly afterwards a "traitor" is said 
to have led a party of soldiers into Terrible Hollow. There 
was a fight between the troops and the bushrangers found 
there at the time, and several of the bushrangers were 
captured and the gang was broken up. The evil reputation 
which the valley had acquired, at first prevented settlement 
there, but when the bushrangers and their doings had been 
forgotten, the Government threw the valley open for 
selection, and a number of farms were taken up or 
purchased. More recently, a line has been surveyed for a 
railway to the valley, but this line has not yet been 
constructed. In the meantime, a good road has been 
opened into the valley through the one practicable entrance, 
and those who visit the valley now for the first time, can 
scarcely credit the horrible stories which have been told in 
connection with it. 

One Sunday in September, 1834, Dr. Robert Wardell, a 
practising barrister in Sydney, and editor of The Australian, 
was riding across his park, which stretched from the Parra- 
matta road, where the municipality of Petersham now 
stands, to Cook's river, to look after his herd of fallow deer, 
of which he was very proud. He jumped his horse over a 
log and found himself confronted by three armed men. 
Thinking they were poachers after his deer, he reined his 
horse in and cried, " What are you doing here, you rascals ? " 
The reply was a shot from one of the guns, and the doctor 
fell. His horse galloped to the house and alarmed the 
family. Men were despatched in all directions to seek for 
the doctor, who it was believed had somehow been thrown 
and injured. The search was continued all day and night, 
but with no result. The next day his body was found 
covered over with boughs, apparently to prevent the dingoes 
from tearing it rather than to hide it. John Jenkins, Thomas 
Tattersdale and Emanuel Brace were arrested on suspicion 


and charged with the murder. Evidence was produced that 
they had been seen in the neighbourhood, and they were 
committed for trial. Brace was a lad who had only recently 
been sent to the colony, and before the day of trial he con- 
sented to turn King's evidence. From his testimony it 
appeared that Jenkins was the man who had fired the gun. 
But both he and Tattersdale were hung for the crime, and i 
was said that they had been guilty of various acts of bush- 
ranging. After the doctor's death the herd of fallow deer 
was neglected. Some were sold, and their descendants 
may still be seen in the park at Parramatta, and elsewhere. 
A large number, however, escaped, and the late Mr. Charles 
Hearn, for many years landlord of the Stag's Head Inn, 
on the Parramatta road, about five miles from the Sydney 
Town Hall, used to boast that he shot the last of Dr. 
Wardell's deer about where the Callan Park Lunatic Asylum 
now stands. 

The story of Jack the Rammer illustrates the relation- 
ship which sometimes existed between the bushrangers and 
the assigned servants, and indicates the difficulties with 
which law-abiding citizens had to cope. Jack had been living 
by robbery in the Manaro district for some time. One day 
Mr. Charles Fisher Shepherd, the overseer of the Michelago 
sheep station, said something about all bushrangers being 
cowards. One of the assigned servants on the station, 
named Bull, replied, "They'll be here next." "If they 
come here," exclaimed Shepherd, " I'll give them a benefit." 
A few nights afterwards Shepherd was asleep in his hut. 
He was awakened by someone calling on him to come 
out. After a time he did so, and saw Jack the Rammer 
and a man named Boyd standing at the door. Jack cried 
out to him, " Keep your hands down." They stood for a 
second or two regarding him, and then Jack said, " What a 
benefit you're giving us." The two bushrangers then 
walked away. Although he felt convinced that Bull was in 
league with the bushrangers and had reported his speech to 
them and that he probably could not expect any assistance 
from the other assigned servants on the station, Shepherd 
loaded his gun with No. 4 shot, the largest he had, and 
started off after the bushrangers. It was about daybreak on 
a beautiful December morning in 1834, probably between 


three and four o'clock, and the air was soft and balmy as he 
made his way through the bush in the direction in which 
the bushrangers had gone. After travelling some distance 
he came on a sort of a camp, and saw Boyd through the 
trees. He kneeled down and fired, but missed. He was 
about to fire the other barrel when Bull stepped from 
behind a tree close by, and said " Don't shoot him, sir." 

" By G , I will," exclaimed Shepherd. " If you fire, by 

G , I'll shoot you," returned Bull. Before Shepherd 

could reply another bushranger named Keys fired at him 
from behind a tree, and wounded him. Shepherd rushed 
forward, and was about to close with Keys when Boyd ran 
up and fired, wounding Shepherd in the head. Keys 
seized him, but Shepherd shook himself free, and ran back 
to the station. He went to the house, roused up the 
owner, and said to him, " Good God, Catterall, I'm shot 
all to pieces, and you never help me." " What's the 
good?" returned Catterall. "What can I do?" Just 
then the bushrangers came up, and Catterall went in and 
shut the door. Shepherd rushed across to his own 
hut, and tried to shut himself in, but Boyd thrust 
the barrel of his gun in in time to prevent 
him. Shepherd seized the gun and tried to wrench it out of 
Boyd's hands, but Keys pushed the door open and struck 
Shepherd on the head. Shepherd fell, and Boyd put the 
muzzle of his gun close against his chest and pulled the 
trigger. The bushrangers, including Bull, then went away. 
It was some hours later when Shepherd regained conscious- 
ness, and yelled out as loud as he could. He continued 
calling for some minutes, and at last Catterall came out of 
the house and went to the hut. " Why," he said, as he 
looked at Shepherd, " I thought you were dead." He went 
away, but soon returned with several of the station hands, 
and had Shepherd carried into the house and put to bed. 
He sent for a doctor and the police. When the doctor 
arrived he took fourteen slugs and bullets out of various 
parts of Shepherd's body. He recovered, and lived for 
many years afterwards. In the meantime the police 
followed the bushrangers, and shot Boyd as he was trying 
to escape by swimming across the Snowy River. Keys and 
Bull were captured, and were subsequently hung. Jack 


the Rammer escaped for a time, but was shot a few months 

On September 24th, 1838, the bushrangers Hall and 
Mayne stuck up Mr. Joseph Roger's station at Currawang, 
near Yass. As they approached the kitchen door the men 
inside rushed out, and the bushrangers fired among them. 
A lad named Patrick Fitzpatrick was struck in the mouth, 
the bullet coming out at the crown of his head. Three of 
the men were wounded. The bushrangers appear to have 
regretted their act as soon as it was done. They made no 
attempt to get away, but assisted to carry the wounded men 
into the kitchen. Hall had been captured previously, but 
had succeeded in escaping from the Goulburn Gaol 
shortly before this attack on Mr. Roger's station. When 
sentenced to death, he said, " I've been all over the 
country in my time without taking the life of any one. 
I've been baited like a bull dog and I'm only sorry now 

that I didn't shoot every tyrant in New South Wales." 

When taken from the court-house to the gaol, he said to 
the crowd assembled there, " I've never had anything to say 

against the prisoners, but I've a grudge against every 

swell in the country. I'll go to the gallows and die as 
comfortably as a biddy and be glad of the chance." The 
trial took place on May i5th, 1839, and between then and 
the date fixed for the execution, Hall made a desperate 
attempt to escape from Darlinghurst Gaol. He failed and 
was hung on June 7th, with Michael Welsh, Donald 
Maynard, and his mate, Mayne. 

In January, 1839, Mr. Bailley was returning to his home 
on the Parramatta Road, Sydney, when he was knocked 
down and beaten by three men near his own door. They 
took a roll of bank notes from his pocket, but a vehicle 
driving rapidly approached and frightened them so that they 
dropped the notes and ran. Mr. Bailley picked them up 
and went indoors. 


John Lynch ; Murder of Kearns Landregan ; Lynch's Trial and 
Sentence ; His Terrible Confession ; Murder of the Frazers, 
Father and Son ; Murder and Cremation of the Mulligans ; His 
Appeals to Almighty God. 

JOHN LYNCH is usually regarded as the most callous and 
brutal of the bushrangers of New South Wales. He was 
transported from Cavan, Ireland, in October, 1831. For 
some months after his arrival in the colony he worked in a 
road gang in the neighbourhood of Sydney and was then 
assigned to Mr. Barton as a farm servant. Soon after his 
arrival at the farm, near Berrima, he appears to have 
exercised his ingenuity in stealing any articles which he 
could find and of selling them to any person who would buy 
them. In 1835 ne was arrested and tried at Berrima on a 
charge of having stolen a saddle from his employer but was 
acquitted. He "bolted" into the bush and a few days 
afterwards a man named Thomas Smith, who had been 
witness in a case of highway robbery, was found dead in the 
scrub. Several bushrangers were arrested, Lynch being 
among them, on suspicion of having decoyed Smith from his 
hut and beaten his brains out with clubs as " a warning to 
traitors," as all those were called who gave evidence against 
bushrangers. Lynch was again acquitted, but two others 
were hung for the murder. During the following two or 
three years he was sentenced to twelve months' imprisonment 
for having harboured bushrangers, and on February 2ist, 
1841, he was arrested at "Mulligan's Farm "and charged 
with the murder of Kearns Landregan. On the igth, Mr. 
Hugh Tinney was travelling to Sydney with his bullock dray 
and camped for the night at Ironstone Bridge. The 


next morning his driver walked along the creek bank 
to look for the bullocks. He noticed some freshly 
cut scrub piled up, and, being curious to know what it 
had been placed there for, he pulled some branches 
away and discovered the newly-murdered body of a man. 
On examining further, he found that the head had been 
fearfully cut and battered. Round the neck was a piece of 
string, and to this were attached an Agnus Dei and a 
temperance medal. Mr. Tinney sent Sturges, the bullock- 
driver, to Berrima to give information, and he returned with 
Chief Constable Noel, Mr. James Harper, the police 
magistrate, and Dr. McDonald. On search being made, 
signs of a camp were found not far away. A small fire had 
been lighted as if to boil a quart pot of tea, and some 
remains of hay were found, showing that a horse had been 
fed there. It was noticed that grey hairs were scattered 
about where the horse had rolled, and therefore it was 
evident that the horse was of that colour. During the day 
investigations were made by the police, and the following 
morning Chief Constable Chapman, Sergeant Freer, and 
Mr. John Chalker, landlord of the Woolpack Inn, Nattai, 
went to Mulligan's Farm, Wombat Brush, and identified 
John Dunleavy, as John Lynch, a prisoner illegally at large. 
When arrested on the charge of having murdered Kearns 
Landregan, Lynch exclaimed : " I am innocent, I leave it 
to God and man. I don't blame you, Chapman, but 
Chalker is interfering too much in what doesn't concern 

A grey horse was found at the farm, and Chalker 
identified this as the horse which Lynch had been driving 
when he stopped at the Woolpack for dinner. Lynch had 
" shouted " for Landregan and the landlord before leaving, 
and Chalker gave him a bundle of hay for the horse. The 
hay was rye grass, similar to that found at the camp. 

Lynch was tried at Berrima on March 2ist, 1842, before 
the Chief Justice, Sir James Dowling. Mary Landregan 
said that the body found was that of her husband. The 
temperance medal had been given to him by Father Mathew 
before they left Ireland. They were both teetotallers, and 
had come to Australia as free immigrants. Her husband 
had about 40 when he left his last place and started to 


look for another job. She had not seen him since, but he 
had sent word, by Susan Beale, servant at Mr. Chalker's 
hotel, that he had engaged to put up fencing and do other 
work for Mr. Dunleavy for ^15. 

A leather belt on which the words " Jewish Harp " had 
been scratched, apparently with the point of a knife, was 
found at the farm, and was identified as the property of 
Kearns Landregan by his brother, who said that Kearns had 
promised to meet him at a public-house of that name in the 
neighbourhood, and had scratched the name on his belt so 
that he might remember it 

Further evidence showed that Lynch had purchased, at 
the Post Office Stores, Berrima, on the 2oth February, a 
merino dress, some women's caps, a pair of child's shoes, 
and some tobacco. He was served by Mrs. Mary Higgins 
and gave her a ^5 note in payment. From the store he 
went to Michael Doyle's, White Horse Hotel, and bought 
two gallons of rum, four gallons of wine, half a chest of tea, 
and a bag of sugar. He gave his name as John Dunleavy, 
Wombat, and said he had taken Mulligan's farm. He gave 
six i notes and a note of hand for ^5 23. in payment. 
The goods were placed in a cart drawn by a grey horse. 
Some of the Bank notes were identified as having been 
among those carried by Landregan. 

There were a number of witnesses, and the case against 
the prisoner with regard to the murder of Landregan was 
very clear. It was also stated that Mr. and Mrs. Mulligan 
and their two children had disappeared suddenly, and that 
there was a suspicion that they had been murdered. 
Lynch produced a letter dated from Wollongong purporting 
to have been signed by Mulligan, but the writing was said 
to be unlike that of Mulligan. Several other mysterious 
disappearances were also spoken of. When asked what he 
had to say Lynch replied that he had met Landregan on 
the road, and Landregan asked him to carry his swag for 
him. Landregan said he had been gambling at McMahon's 
public-house, and must have left his money there. Lynch 
told him to get up and ride as far as he was going his way. 
When they reached Bolland's, Lynch asked Landregan to 
have a drink, but Landregan refused, saying that his wife 
was there, and that he did not want her to see him. When 


they got a little further along the road Landregan got down, 
took his swag, and walked away into the bush, and he had 
not seen him since. Lynch complained that he had been 
treated very unfairly. He had, he said, been sent out for 
seven years, but had been treated as a " lifer." He had 
served his time fairly, but he could not get his rights. 
When his father died in Ireland he had left him between 
600 and 700. That was how he bought Mulligan's 

Lynch was found guilty, and, in passing sentence, his 
Honour said : " John Lynch, the trade in blood which has 
so long marked your career is at last terminated, not by 
any sense of remorse, or the sating of any appetite for 
slaughter on your part, but by the energy of a few zealous 
spirits, roused into activity by the frightful picture 
of atrocity which the last tragic passage of your 
worthless life exhibits. It is now credibly believed, if not 
actually ascertained, that no less than nine other individuals 
have fallen by your hands. How many more have been 
violently ushered into another world remains undiscovered, 
save in the dark pages of your own memory. By your own 
confession it is admitted that as late as 1835 justice was 
invoked on your head for a frightful murder committed in 
this immediate neighbourhood. Your unlucky escape on 
that occasion has, it would seem, whetted your tigrine 
relish for human gore but at length you have fallen into 
toils from which you cannot escape." His Honour quoted 
from the evidence at length, and said that the prisoner had 
" spared neither age nor youth in gratifying his sordid lust 
for gain." The disappearance of the Mulligans had not 
been accounted for, but there could be little doubt that the 
prisoner knew what their fate was. He concluded his 
exordium by saying that too much praise could not be 
bestowed, "not merely on the police, but upon the 
inhabitants of the neighbourhood, in unravelling the dark 
mystery of Landregan's death, and bringing his blood home 
to your door." He then pronounced sentence in the usual 

The prisoner listened throughout with an unmoved 
countenance, and when the Judge had finished he said he 
hoped his Honour would order that the small amount due 


as wages to the Barnetts should be paid. They were 
innocent of any complicity in the offence with which he had 
been charged, and he hoped they would soon be released 
from gaol. There was also i due to a boy who had 
been working on the farm, and he hoped this would also be 
paid. Whatever had happened at the farm it had happened 
before either the Barnetts or the boy went there, and they 
knew nothing about it. For some days after his sentence 
John Lynch continued to assert that he was innocent, but 
finding, as is supposed, that there was no hope of a 
reprieve, he asked to see the Rev. Mr. Sumner on the day 
before that fixed for his execution, and in the presence of 
the police magistrates and the minister, made a very 
extraordinary confession, of which the following is a brief 
summary : 

He arrived in the colony in 1832 in the Dunvegan 
Castle. The entry on his indent was : " False pretences ; 
sentence, life." This was wrong. He had only been 
sentenced to seven years' penal servitude. He had applied 
to the authorities at the Hyde Park Barracks for his free 
papers, but had been kept waiting a fortnight without getting 
any satisfaction. So he returned to the Berrima district, 
where he had been assigned. He went to John Mulligan 
for advice and assistance. Mulligan had a lot of goods and 
valuables, which Lynch is supposed to have stolen and left 
at the farm. He wanted to sell them, but Mulligan refused 
to give a fair price for them. Lynch had made up his mind 
to live honestly, but this treatment disgusted him. He 
complained bitterly of the dishonesty of men who were in 
a good position and who "ought to have known better." 
He left Mulligan's and went to T. B. Humphrey's farm at 
Oldbury and stole eight bullocks, which he had himself 
broken in, and started with them for Sydney, with the 
intention of selling them, so that he might "start honest." 
At Mount Razorback he fell in with a man named Ireland, 
who was in charge of a loaded team belonging to Mr. 
Thomas Cowper. The load was a valuable one, consisting 
of wheat, bacon, and other farm produce. Lynch thought 
it would pay him better to kill Ireland and take possession of 
the dray and its load than to sell Mr. Humphrey's bullocks. 
He therefore camped with Ireland that night, and " they 


were very friendly." In the morning a black boy who 
accompanied Ireland went to look for the bullocks, and 
Lynch followed and killed him. He returned to the camp 
without his absence having been noticed by Ireland, and 
watched for a chance. Ireland had no suspicion of foul 
play, and Lynch soon got near enough to him to strike him 
a blow with his tomahawk. Lynch hid the bodies in a cleft 
between two rocks, and piled stones over them. He 
remained at the camp two days. On the second day two 
other teams arrived at the camp in charge of men named 
Lee and Lagge, and they all agreed to travel together for 
company. When near Liverpool Mr. Cowper rode up and 
was surprised to find a stranger in charge of his dray. 
Lynch told him a plausible story to the effect that Ireland 
had been taken suddenly ill, and had asked him to take the 
team on. The black boy had stayed behind to nurse 
Ireland, and they were to follow as soon as Ireland got well 
enough. Mr. Cowper believed him and was satisfied, and 
after making enquiries as to where Ireland was stopping, 
arranged with Lynch where they should meet in Sydney. 
The time and place having been agreed on, Mr. Cowper 
rode away. Lee and Lagge were bound for Parramatta, 
and therefore, when they reached the junction of the Dog 
Trap Road with the Liverpool Road, they parted company 
with Lynch, who kept straight on. Left by himself, Lynch 
drove on night and day, reaching Sydney two days before 
the time appointed for him to meet Mr. Cowper. He hired 
a man who was half drunk to sell the loading, and as soon as 
he had received the money for the loading he started away 
with the team on the Illawarra Road. When near George's 
river he met Chief Constable McAlister, of Campbelltown, 
and fearing that he might have been recognised, he turned 
off the road on to a cross track leading towards the Berrima 
road. He knew there would soon be a hue and cry after 
him and feared that McAlister would report having met him 
on the Illawarra road. He travelled on until he came back 
to Razorback, near where the murder had been committed. 
Here he met the Frazers, father and son, driving a horse 
team owned by Mr. Bawten. He kept company with them 
and they camped together at Bargo Brush. Another horse 
team with which there were two men and their wives also 


camped there. After their supper Lynch was lying under 
his dray when a mounted trooper rode up and asked Frazer 
some questions about a dray which had been stolen, and 
which belonged to Mr. Cowper. The Frazers were unable 
to give him any information and the trooper rode away 
without noticing Lynch, who was lying under the very dray 
he was enquiring about. This narrow escape gave Lynch a 
terrible shock. He lay awake all night thinking of the 
danger he was running by keeping this dray. He " prayed 
to Almighty God to assist and enlighten " him in this 
emergency, and feeling much strengthened he resolved to 
kill the Frazers and take their dray. Having arrived at this 
decision he became calmer and thought out the details of 
his plan carefully. In the morning Lynch left the camp 
under the pretence that he was going to look for his 
bullocks, but in reality to drive them away. On his return 
he reported that he could not find them and spoke of the 
trouble bullocks gave by their wandering habits. He 
asked the Frazers to help him to pull his dray into 
the bush where he could leave it safely until he could 
return with another team of bullocks and take it home. 
There was nothing surprising in this, as bullocks frequently 
stray away home as soon as they are unyoked and 
will travel astonishing distances, even when hobbled, 
before morning. The Frazers, therefore, helped Lynch 
to drag the dray away from the road to where there 
was a clump of trees, and then yoked up their horses. 
Lynch put such few things as he had in the dray into 
Frazer's cart, and they all started together. That night they 
camped at Cordeaux Flat. In the morning young Frazer 
started to find the horses, and Lynch accompanied him. 
Lynch wore a coat because, he said, it was rather cold. As 
a fact, it was to hide his tomahawk. When they were in 
the bush, out of sight of the camp, Lynch found "no 
difficulty in settling him." He struck one blow, and " the 
young fellow fell like a log of wood." Lynch returned to 
the camp leading one horse, and said the lad was looking 
for the other. This made Frazer very uneasy, not on 
account of his son, but because he had never known the 
horses to part company before, and feared that some one 
must have stolen the other horse. He "fidgeted about" 


until Lynch, who had been watching for an opportunity, 
got behind him and " struck him one blow and killed him 
dead." Lynch buried the two bodies a little way off the 
road and remained at the camp all day. The next morning 
he drove through Berrima to Mulligan's farm. He told 
Mrs. Mulligan that the dray and horses belonged to a gentle- 
man in Sydney. He asked her for the ^30 which he said 
her husband owed him for the articles which he had left at 
the farm, and which he had obtained by burglary and high- 
way robbery. Mrs. Mulligan assured him on oath that all 
she had in the house was ^9. Lynch felt sure she was 
only "putting him off," and felt very much discouraged. 
He walked to Mr. Gray's, Black Horse Inn, about three 
miles down the road, and bought two bottles of rum. On his 
return he gave some to Mr. and Mrs. Mulligan, but "took 
very little " himself. He sat down on a log near the fence, 
and thought, " This man passed me by as if he didn't know 
me when I was in the iron gang in Berrima. He never 
offered me a shilling though he has made pounds out of 
me, and I risked my life to obtain it. It would be a 
judgment on him to take all he's got for the way he's 
treated a poor prisoner. Oh, Almighty God, assist me and 
direct me what to do." After praying he felt strengthened 
and returned to the hut. Mrs. Mulligan told him that she 
had dreamed that she had a baby and that he had taken 
it away and killed it. " It was all covered with blood and 
looked horrible." Lynch joked with her about this dream ; 
but, at the same time, he "felt very frightened." He 
believed that " she could foretell things," and he knew that 
" she could toss balls and turn cups." He went away again 
and prayed to God to enlighten him, and at last made up 
his mind to " kill the lot." He returned to the hut and 
" talked pleasantly." Then he asked young Mulligan, who 
was about sixteen years of age, to " come and cut some 
wood " for the fire. The boy went with him, and as they 
walked along Lynch spoke to the lad of the fine property he 
would have "when the old man died;" adding, "Ah, Johnny, 
you don't know what's in store for you." They chopped up 
several sticks and then, when the boy was stooping, Lynch 
swung the axe round and " hit him on the head." He 
threw a few branches over the body, and then, picking up 


an armful of the wood they had cut walked back to 
the house. Mrs. Mulligan asked him where her boy 
was, and Lynch replied that he'd "gone to the pad- 
dock with the horses." Mrs. Mulligan was very uneasy 
and asked Lynch to fire his gun off, as a signal 
to the boy to return. Lynch said this might bring 
the police round and he didn't want them " to see 
that dray." Mulligan also objected to the gun being fired. 
Both Mulligan and his wife were greatly excited. The old 
man paced up and down in front of the house, while the 
old woman, after asking Lynch several times what he had 
done with her boy, started up the path to look for him. 
Then said Lynch, " I knew it was time for something to be 
done." He got his tomahawk without being seen, walked 
up to the old man and cried " Look ! " Mulligan turned 
round and looked up the road where Lynch pointed, 
Lynch struck him "one tap" and he "fell like a log." 
Lynch then followed Mrs. Mulligan, tripped her up and 
killed her. He walked back to the hut and saw the 
daughter, a girl of fourteen, standing behind the table with 
a large butcher's knife in her hand. She was trembling 
violently. He said to her " Put down that knife." She 
hesitated to obey him, and he cried louder, " Put down that 
knife." Then she put it down. He walked round the table 
and took her hand. He said he did not wish to hurt her, 
but if he let her live she would " only put him away." He 
told her to " pray for her soul," as she had "only ten minutes 
to live." She sobbed bitterly and he tried to comfort her, 
talking very seriously, and telling her that life was full of 
trouble, and that she would be better dead. Then he took 
her into the inner room, and after having violated her, 
brought her out again and killed her with the tomahawk. 
He dragged the four bodies together, heaped firewood over 
them and set fire to the heap. " I never seen nothing like 
it," he said. "They burned as if they was bags of fat." 
He threw the greater part of their clothing on to the 
fire and burned it. He stayed at the farm all next 
day, and then, when he had "made things right," he 
went to Sydney. Here he inserted an advertisement 
in the Sydney Gazette to the effect that Mrs. Mulligan 
having left her home without his consent he would not be 


responsible for any debts she might contract. This was 
signed "John Mulligan." He returned to the farm and 
wrote letters to those people to whom he knew Mulligan 
owed money, informing them that he had sold the farm to 
John Dunleavy, who would pay their accounts. These 
letters he also signed "John Mulligan." Lynch then engaged 
Terence Barnett and his wife to work on the farm, and 
stayed there quietly for six months. The stories he told in 
the neighbourhood induced the belief that Mulligan had 
taken him in with regard to the farm, and that he had paid 
more for it than it was worth. At the end of six months 
Lynch paid another visit to Sydney, and on his return 
journey met with Kearns Landregan, who said he was looking 
for work. Lynch engaged him to put up some fencing. 
Landregan agreed and got into the cart. Lynch drove on 
until they were passing Crisp's Inn. Here Landregan 
crouched down as if to hide himself. Lynch asked him 
what he did that for. Landregan replied that he had 
summoned Crisp for stealing a bundle of clothes from 
him and didn't want a row about it then. Lynch felt sorry 
that he had engaged Landregan and determined to get 
rid of him. He decided to camp at Ironstone Bridge and, 
when Landregan was sitting on a log near the camp fire, 
Lynch crept up behind him and struck him with the 
tomahawk. In his confession Lynch was very particular in 
pointing out that in all his previous murders he had not 
struck any one of his victims more than one blow with the 
tomahawk or axe. Landregan, however, was a big powerful 
man, who boasted that he had never met his match in 
wrestling, and Lynch felt afraid of him. He therefore 
departed from his rule and struck Landregan twice. He 
attributed his " ill-luck " in being caught and convicted to 
this breach of the rule he had laid down for himself. 
Lynch seems to have persuaded himself that he was acting 
under Divine inspiration in committing his murders. He 
was very emphatic in his assertions that he never committed 
a murder, without having first prayed to Almighty God to 
assist and direct him, until he felt sufficiently strengthened 
to carry out his intentions. He appeared to believe that he 
was justified in taking life. Whatever may be thought of 
his confessions, however, there can be no doubt that the 


main facts were correct. After his death a search was made 
at the places where he said he had hidden or buried his 
victims, and in all cases the remains were found as he had 
stated they would be. With regard to the Mulligans, a large 
heap of ashes was searched and found to contain human 
remains. The confession only included his more serious 
crimes. He said nothing about the numerous robberies he 
had committed at various times, nor of his relations with 
other bushrangers, with whom it was known he was on 
cordials terms during at least a portion of his career. 
Lynch was hanged at Berrima on April 22nd, 1842. At 
that time he was only twenty-nine years of age. He was 
about five feet three and a half inches in height, of fair 
complexion, with brown hair and hazel eyes. There was 
nothing ferocious in his appearance. 


Jackey Jackey, the Gentleman Bushranger ; His Dispute with Paddy 
Curran ; Some Legends About Him ; Jackey Jackey Always Well- 
dressed and Mounted ; His Capture at Bungendore ; His Escape 
at Bargo Brush ; Jackey Jackey Visits Sydney ; His Capture by 
Miss Gray ; Paddy Curran's Fight with the Police ; Re-captured 
and Hung ; John Wright Threatens to Make a Clean Sweep. 

WILLIAM WESTWOOD, better known as Jackey Jackey, was 
the darling of the old hands. He was only an errand 
boy in England, and was transported for some small 
peccadillo when he was sixteen years of age. He landed 
in Sydney in 1837, and was assigned to Mr. Phillip Gidley 
King, at Gidley, in the Goulburn district. He stayed at the 
station for nearly three years, and then, in company with a 
notorious scoundrel named Paddy Curran, stuck up and 
robbed his employer's house. The partnership between 
Jackey Jackey and Curran, however, did not last very long. 
Curran disgusted Jackey Jackey by his brutality to women. 
In one of their mutual enterprises Curran criminally 
assaulted a woman, the wife of the farmer whose place they 
had stuck up. Jackey Jackey was furious. He declared 
that even if a man was a bushranger he might be a 
gentleman, and added that he would never see a woman 
insulted. He threatened to shoot Curran unless he left at 
once, and stripped him of his horse, arms and ammunition. 
This story furnishes the key-note to Jackey Jackey's 
character. To the old hands he was always the 'gentleman 
bushranger. The stories told by them about the Jewboy 
and other bushrangers, and even about Mathew Brady, 
were generally coarse and sometimes brutal, but Jackey 
Jackey was always polite and well-behaved. More legends 


have collected round the name of Jackey Jackey than 
round that of any other of the bushrangers, and many 
of them are obviously variants of the stories told of 
the historical highwaymen of England. For instance, 
Jackey Jackey is said to have bailed up the carriage 
of the Commissary. When he discovered that the 
Commissary's wife was inside he dismounted, opened the 
door and, sweeping the ground with his cabbage tree hat, as 
he bowed low before her, he invited her to favour him with 
a step on the green. He rode incredible distances in 
incredibly short periods of time. He is represented as 
bailing up a man near Goulburn and telling him to note the 
time by his watch and then racing away and bailing up 
another man at Braidwood or some other place a hundred 
or a hundred and fifty miles away in a few hours and asking 
that person to note the time. Many of the popular stories 
told about him ace so evidently apocryphal that little 
notice can be taken of them. But one thing is certain 
and that is that he was always well mounted. He 
scorned to steal an inferior horse and would travel miles 
to secure a racer. He stole racehorses from Mr. Murray, 
Mr. Julian, and many other gentlemen in the districts 
over which he ranged. 

Although he appears to have been of humble origin he 
is credited with having been highly educated. This point 
was especially insisted upon by his eulogists among the old 
hands. By them he was always represented as being " able 
to hold his own," in conversation, with " the best of 'em." 
I remember one old fellow telling me that when Jackey 
Jackey met Governor Gipps (of which meeting, however, I 
can find no record) the governor and the bushranger had a 
long conversation and parted mutually pleased with each 
other. " You and me," said the old chap, " couldn't have 
understood what they said though it was all English ; but, 
they talked grammar." What his precise meaning was I had 
no idea, but I have always thought that he intended to suggest 
that their conversation was all carried on in what he might 
have called " dictionary words ;" that is, words not used by 
the uneducated. But everything said of Jackey Jackey 
redounds to his credit from the old hand point of view. 
He was emphatically " a good man." The meaning attached 


to words is purely conventional, and is therefore liable to 
vary with the conventionalities. The point of view of the 
convict being entirely different to that of the law-abiding 
citizen, the terms "good" and "bad" changed places in 
their vocabulary. Thus the clergy, the magistrates, the free 
men, were generally " bad men," while those who resisted 
authority, who fought against law and order, were " good 
men." Even the cannibal Pierce was a good man from 
their point of view, however strongly they might condemn 
his methods. But Jackey Jackey, although he continued 
the fight to the bitter end, and ended his life on the 
gallows when he was only twenty-six, never did anything 
mean or brutal or unworthy of a gentleman bushranger, 
until he was almost goaded to madness by the cruel 
discipline of Norfolk Island. 

Paddy Curran was "out in the bush" several months 
before Jackey Jackey joined him, and he was not the only 
bushranger at work in the district. On December 3ist, 
1839, the station of the Rev. Mr. Cartwright was stuck up 
and robbed. On the same day a skirmish between the 
police and seven mounted bushrangers took place near Yass. 
One of the police horses was killed, and the police were 
compelled to retreat. On the same day, Mr. Heffernan's 
house, not far from Goulburn, was stuck up and robbed of 
21 in money, a case of duelling pistols, a valuable mare, 
and other property. Mr. Israel Shepherd also lost a 
valuable horse, besides some money, and Mr. Charles 
Campbell was reported to have been shot dead. This is a 
heavy record for one day, and as the robberies took place 
so far distant from each other, there must have been at 
least three separate parties concerned in them. About the 
same time it was reported that Scotchy and Whitton were 
plundering the stations on the Lachlan River in all 
directions, and that Mr. Arthur Rankin had left his station 
and retired to Sydney in consequence of the insecurity in 
the country districts. The robberies continued all through 
the year 1840, and a great part of 1841. 

On January i3th of the last-mentioned year a man ran 
into the township of Bungendore, and said that Jackey 
Jackey had followed and fired at him. A few minutes' 
later Jackey Jackey himself, mounted on a splendid mare, 


which he had stolen from the Messrs. Macarthur, hove in 
sight on the plains. He was dressed in a fine suit of 
clothes which he had obtained when he stuck up and 
robbed the store at Boro a few days before. He stopped to 
speak to a man near Eccleton's. In the meantime Mr. 
Powell, the resident magistrate, and his brother, Mr. Frank 
Powell, promptly mounted and went towards the bush- 
ranger, and were joined by Richard Rutledge, who, 
however, had no arms. As they approached Jackey Jackey 
wheeled round and fired at them, but failed to hit any one. 
Mr. Balcombe and the Rev. Mr. McGrath drove up in a 
gig, and Mr. McGrath jumped down and presented his gun. 
Jackey Jackey seeing himself surrounded, surrendered. He 
explained that his mare had come a long journey and was 
unfit to travel, and that his musket was out of order and 
would not go off. He was conducted to the inn and placed 
in a room, two ticket-of-leave men being placed there to 
guard him. Jackey Jackey sat very quiet for some time. 
Then he jumped up suddenly, knocked down one of his 
guards, snatched his musket, jumped through the 
window, and ran across the plain. Frank Powell, who was 
close at hand, followed him, and with the assistance of Dr. 
Wilson's postman, recaptured him. Among other exploits 
previous to this capture Jackey Jackey had robbed the 
Queanbeyan, Tarago, and other mails, stuck up Mr. Julian, 
Mr. Edinburgh, and a number of other people on the roads 
at various times and places, stolen horses from all the 
principal owners and breeders in the district, fired at the 
driver of the Bungendore mail, who escaped, and had 
robbed the Boro Creek store of clothing, money, provisions, 
and other articles, on the Tuesday before his capture. For 
several months Lieutenant Christie and the whole of the 
mounted police of the district had been trying to capture 
him, and he had more than once escaped only by the 
superior fleetness of his horses. As soon as possible after 
his capture he was handed over to Lieutenant Christie, who 
conducted him to Goulburn, where he was lodged in the 
lockup. The following day he was being taken to Bargo 
Brush, on the road to Sydney, when he made a desperate 
attempt to escape on foot, running for a mile before he was 
recaptured. He was then tied on the horse and the 'ourney 


was resumed, but at night he broke out of the Bargo lock-up, 
taking with him the watch-house keeper's arms and 
ammunition. He soon procured a horse, and on the 
following day stuck up Mr. Francis Macarthur on the Goul- 
burn Plains. He robbed Mr. Macarthur of his watch, 
money, and other valuables, and took one of his carriage 
horses because it was better than the animal he was 

In the meantime the other bushrangers in the district 
had not been idle. In September, 1840, a fight took place 
between the police and the bushrangers near Wellington. 
One of the bushrangers was shot dead, and a mounted 
trooper was wounded in the shoulder. A few days later 
another encounter occurred, when a constable was shot 
dead within two miles of the township. 

On October 3rd, Mr. Robert Smith's station, Newria, 
was attacked by four armed bushrangers and plundered of 
everything worth carrying away. Mr. Aarons had recently 
arrived from Sydney, with the intention of opening a store 
in Wellington. The bushrangers threatened to throw him 
into the fire unless he handed over his money. They got 
upwards of ^400 from him. Mr. McPhillamy rode up at 
the time, and was invited by one of the bushrangers to 
dismount and come in. He dismounted, and then, 
discovering the class of men he had to deal with, quickly 
jumped on his horse again and started. The bushrangers 
fired at him, and one of the bullets so severely injured his 
hand that it had to be amputated. A reward of 200 was 
offered for the capture of these men. 

On Tuesday, May i8th, 1841, a gentleman, mounted on 
a spirited horse, pulled up at the tollbar on the Parramatta 
Road, Sydney, and asked the tollkeeper if he could oblige 
him with a pipe of tobacco. The tollkeeper gave him a 
piece, and the gentleman dismounted and filled his pipe. 
As he stood at the door of the tollhouse he remarked a 
firelock hanging over the mantelpiece, and asked what it 
was for. " For bushrangers," replied the toll man. " But 
there are none now. I've never seen it taken dowrr since 
I've been here." " Did you ever hear of Jackey Jackey ? " 
enquired the gentleman. " Oh, yes," replied the toll man, 
" but he's a long way away. He never comes to Sydney. 


If he did he'd soon be caught." "Not at all," replied the 
gentleman laughing. "They don't know how to catch him, nor 
to keep him when they do catch him. I'm Jackey Jackey." 
He raised the lappels of his coat as he spoke and showed a 
brace of pistols stuck in his belt on each side. The tollman 
looked very much alarmed, but the bushranger said to him, 
" Don't be frightened, I am not going to hurt you, I've been 
in Sydney for three days and I'm going back to Manaro." 
He informed the tollman that he had taken a horse in 
Sydney, but that he was too old and stiff, so he had taken 
the liberty of exchanging him for the one he had with him 
at Grose's Farm. " Ain't you afraid of being took ? " asked 
the tollman. Jackey laughed. " I'd like to see who'll stop 
me while I've these little bull-dogs about me," he said, 
tapping his pistols. He stood chatting while he smoked 
regardless of the fact that Grose's Farm, now the grounds of 
the Sydney University, was within a stone's-throw of the toll- 
bar. He offered the tollman some money and asked him to 
go to the public-house for some rum. The tollman replied, 
"I can't leave the bar." "All right," returned Jackey, "then 
I'll get it myself." He went away to Toogood's Inn and 
returned in a few minutes with half-a-pint of rum. He gave 
some to the tollkeeper and took a stiff glass himself. Then 
he shook hands with the tollman, mounted his horse, and 
rode on towards Parramatta. 

On the 8th of July a great commotion was caused in 
George Street, Sydney, by a soldier arresting a well-dressed 
man and asserting that he recognised him as Jackey Jackey. 
A large number of people assembled and there were plenty 
of them quite ready to assist in the capture of the noted 
bushranger. On the prisoner being taken to the police court 
proof was soon forthcoming to show that he was a free man. 
He was discharged and the soldier was censured for being 
too officious. Since the visit of the bushranger in May had 
become known a constant look-out had been kept in case he 
should repeat his visit. 

Jackey Jackey did not long maintain his freedom, 
however. He one day went into Gray's Black Horse Inn on 
the Berrima road, called for some refreshments, went into a 
sitting room, and threw himself on the sofa. He was 
served by Miss Gray, and while he was drinking she pounced 


on him and screamed. Her father and mother came to her 
assistance, but Jackey Jackey fought with so much deter- 
mination that he would no doubt have got away. A 
carpenter named Waters was working near, however, and 
hearing the noise he rushed in and struck Jackey Jackey on 
the head with his shingling hammer. Knocked senseless, 
the noted bushranger was easily secured. It will be 
remembered that Gray's Black Horse Inn was about three 
miles from Mulligan's farm, and was the place where Lynch 
had bought the rum to treat Mr. and Mrs. Mulligan just 
before he murdered them. The capture of Jackey Jackey 
was effected for the purpose of securing the reward of ^30 
offered for him dead or alive. He was tried for the robbery 
of the Boro store, and was sentenced to penal servitude for 
life. He was first confined in Darlinghurst Gaol, Sydney, 
but being detected in an attempt to escape, he was trans- 
ferred to Cockatoo Island at the mouth of the Parramatta 
River. While here he organised a band of twenty-five 
prisoners, and made a desperate attempt to escape. The 
gang overcame and tied a warder, and then jumped into the 
harbour with the intention of swimming to Balmain. The 
water police, however, were apprised of the mutiny and 
captured the whole gang. It has been asserted that no 
prisoner has escaped from Cockatoo Island. The distance 
from the island to the shore is not very great, certainly less 
than half-a-mile to the nearest point, but all who have tried 
to swim it have either been retaken by the police or eaten 
by sharks. 

The gang was tried for this attempt at escape and were 
sentenced to be sent to Port Arthur, Van Diemen's Land. 
Being such a desperate lot of scoundrels they were chained 
down in the hold of the brig, in which they were forwarded, 
for safety ; but, in spite of this precaution, they contrived to 
get loose and were only prevented from capturing the brig 
by the hatches being put on and battened down. They 
reached Port Arthur in an almost suffocated condition, and 
were nearly starved, as they had had no food for several 
days ; the captain of the brig not daring to remove the 
hatches, either to let in air, or to pass food to the 

Jackey Jackey succeeded in escaping from Port Arthur 


and immediately resumed his bushranging career. He was 
captured, however, after a very short run and was sent to 
Glenorchy Probation Station for milder treatment. Probably 
this attempt at reformation came too late, but however this 
may have been, it had little beneficial effect. Jackey 
Jackey made his escape and again began bushranging. He 
was captured in a house in Hobart Town and was sentenced 
to death. The sentence, however, was commuted to penal 
servitude for life and he was sent to Norfolk Island, where 
we shall hear of him again later on. 

In the meantime, Jackey Jackey's old mate, Paddy 
Curran, continued to rob as before. He went to Major 
Lockyer's station and entered the men's hut while they 
were having their Christmas dinner, in 1840. He had a 
pair of handcuffs hanging at his belt, and was therefore 
thought to be a constable out on the spree. He helped 
himself freely to the good things on the table, and behaved 
generally so as to induce the idea that he had been drinking. 
One of the men, however, said he did not believe that the 
visitor was "a drunken trap," and Curran immediately 
knocked him down with the butt of his gun. The man 
jumped up at once and rushed at Curran. There was a 
struggle for a time, and the man got Curran down. He 
was, however, too much exhausted to hold him, and Curran 
got up. The other men, who were all assigned servants on 
the estate, looked on and applauded the wrestlers, but not 
one of them made any motion to assist his mate, otherwise 
Curran might easily have been captured. After his wrestling 
match Curran walked out of the hut, mounted his horse, and 
rode away. On the following day Curran again went to the 
station, and found Mr. North, son-in-law to Major Lockyer, 
and another man in the store. He called on them to bail 
up, and both men held their hands up. Curran was about 
to enter the store-door when he was pinioned from behind. 
Mr. North and his store-keeper rushed forward, and after a 
severe struggle, during which the bushranger tried hard to 
get his gun free, he was captured and tied. The man who 
had pinioned him was the man with whom he had had the 
wrestling match the day before. Curran was taken to 
Goulburn for examination, and was remanded to Berrima to 
take his trial, " where," said the Port Phillip Herald, " it 


is to be hoped he will be more securely confined, and 
not allowed to escape, as he did before." 

Paddy Curran and James Berry, another bushranger, 
were sent to Berrima for trial in charge of Constables 
McGuire and Wilsmore. They stopped at a hut on the 
road for a rest and food. After they had finished their meal 
Constable Wilsmore left the hut, and stayed away for some 
time. At length Constable McGuire went to the door of 
the hut to call him, and Berry and Curran, taking advantage 
of his action, immediately rushed upon him. They were 
handcuffed together, and this no doubt hampered their 
movements. McGuire fought hard. The bushrangers had 
seized the guns, and each held one. McGuire endeavoured 
to wrest the gun from Curran with one hand, while he held 
Berry's gun off with the other hand. He yelled for 
Wilsmore, but Wilsmore did not come. At length Berry 
got his gun loose and shot McGuire in the back of the 
head and in the shoulder. At this moment Constable 
Wilsmore returned, and seeing his mate dead and the 
prisoners in possession of the guns, ran away again. Curran 
and Berry beat McGuire about the head until he was dead, 
and a " fearful spectacle to look upon." Then they searched 
his body, and finding the key of the handcuffs, released 
themselves and made off. The two bushrangers continued 
their depredations for only a few months, however, as they 
were tracked down by the police and captured. Curran 
was tried on September i5th, 1841, for the murder of Mr. 
Fuller. He afterwards confessed to this murder. He said 
he was in company with two other bushrangers on the road 
near Bungendore when he heard two men quarrelling. 
Curran and his mates went towards the road and hid behind 
trees. Presently two men, riding on one horse, came in 
sight and appeared to be having a dispute about something. 
They were talking loud and swearing at each other. Curran 
stepped out from behind the tree and called on them to 
stop. Instead of doing so they wheeled the horse and 
began to gallop away. Curran fired and both men fell, 
while the horse bolted along the road and soon got out of 
sight. One of the men jumped up as soon as he fell and 
ran into the bush and they did not see him again. The 
other man was Mr. Fuller, and he was either dead or at the 


point of death. " I turned him over and took about i i 
in money and a pocket knife out of his pockets," said the 

Curran was also tried for having committed a rape on 
Mary Wilsmore. He went to the hut occupied by Wilsmore 
on the 8th of February. It was near Bungendore. He 
ordered Mrs. Wilsmore to get him some tea. A bushranger, 
named White, was with him. Mrs. Wilsmore went outside 
to get some wood to make up the fire and Curran followed 
her, knocked her down, and dragged her away to some 
scrub where he committed the offence. He was found 
guilty of both crimes and was sentenced to be hung. There 
were another case of rape, several cases of murder, and 
numbers of robberies and burglaries charged against him, 
but none of these were heard. 

James Berry was tried for the murder of Constable 
McGuire, and was sentenced to death. 

At the same sessions John Wright, another bushranger, 
was also sentenced to death. The case against him was as 
follows: On May i7th, 1840, Mrs. Margaret Foley, living 
at Long Swamp, about thirty miles from Bathurst, was going 
from her house into the detached kitchen at the rear, when 
three armed men appeared. She shouted " Here's the 
bushrangers " and ran into the kitchen. Mr. Cunningham, 
Mr. Foley's partner in the farm, came out of the house and 
fired both barrels of his gun at the intruders, but failed to 
hit any of them. The leader of the gang followed Mr. 
Cunningham, who went back into the house ; and saying, 
" It'll be a long time before you and Steel (son of Captain 
Steel) hunt us again," shot him dead. Wright then went to 
the kitchen, pushed the door open, and asked where Foley 
was ? On being informed that he had gone to Bathurst, he 
replied " I'm sorry for it. I'd 'a served him the same as 
Cunningham if I'd 'a caught him." He swung his gun 
about in such a reckless manner that one of the assigned 
servants in the kitchen requested him to be careful, adding 
" Recollect that there are women and children here." Wright 

told him to mind his " own business and be " to 

him. He continued to swear about Foley's absence and 
declared that he'd a "good mind to make a clean sweep." 
He became cooler afterwards, and having collected all the 



jewellery and other valuables, went away. In passing 
sentence the Chief Justice commented on the great number 
of robberies which had been committed by Wright and his 
gang and said there was no hope of mercy. Wright thanked 
his Honour and then coolly asked whether he might have a 
candle in his cell, as it was very dark. 


The Jewboy Gang ; " Come and Shoot the Bushrangers ; " Constable 
Refuses to Leave His Work to Hunt Bushrangers ; Saved by his 
Wife ; Robberies in Maitland ; Bushrangers in High Hats ; The 
Bullock-driver Captures the Bushrangers ; An Attempt to Reach 
the Dutch Settlements ; Mr. E. D. Day Captures the Gang ; 
Assigned Servants' Attempt at Bushranging ; Some other Gangs. 

ONE of the most notorious of the early bushrangers of 
Australia was Edward Davis, commonly known as The 
Jewboy. Next to Jackey Jackey and, perhaps, Mathew 
Brady, more yarns have been told about this hero of the 
roads than of any other bushranger in the pre-gold digging 
era. The Jewboy gang varied in numbers from time to 
time, no doubt from the cause already noted in the 
cases of Mike Howe and Mathew Brady. Numbers of 
runaways joined the gang for a time and then returned to 
what was called civilisation, gave themselves up as ordinary 
runaways, and " took their fifties like men." Others were 
shot or captured, and either hung or sent to a penal 
settlement to continue their careers there. The Jewboy 
appears to have commenced his depredations in 1839 in 
what were then the northern districts of the colony of New 
South Wales. His range extended from about Maitland 
to the New England ranges, he having taken possession of 
the Great Northern Road, but he was not particular and, 
therefore, either he or other members of his gang, or, 
perhaps, independent bushrangers who were only supposed 
to belong to the Jewboy gang, travelled considerable 
distances from the road. On January izth, 1839, Mr. 
Biddington's servant was stuck up and robbed near Mr. 
Wightman's station on the Namoi River, some distance 


lower down than Tamworth. The servant sent an invitation 
to Mr. Wightman to " come and have a shot at the bush- 
rangers." The Sydney Gazette, of April 3rd, said : " The 
country between Patrick's Plains and Maitland has lately 
been the scene of numerous outrages by bushrangers. A 
party of runaway convicts, armed and mounted, have been 
scouring the roads in all directions. In one week they 
robbed no less than seven teams on the Wollombi Road, 
taking away everything portable. They also went to Mr. 
Nicholas's house, and carried away a great quantity of 
property after destroying a great many articles which they 
did not want. Mr. Macdougall, late Chief Constable of 
Maitland, and a party of volunteers set out in pursuit. The 
Wollombi district constable is a tailor by trade, and he 
refused to leave his work to accompany the party on the 
plea that it would not pay him." This reminds us that the 
ordinary police force of the present day did not exist in 
Australia at that time. In the larger towns there were paid 
constables and watchmen who devoted their whole time to 
guarding the citizens and their property; but, in country 
districts, a tradesman was paid a small sum per annum for 
acting as constable. There was, however, a mounted patrol 
force which is frequently spoken of as a police force. The 
police duties in Sydney, Parramatta, and other large towns 
were discharged by soldiers. 

Major Sutton was stopped on the road by armed men, 
and robbed on his return from attending the Maitland 
police sessions, and a hut belonging to Mr. Windeyer, near 
Stroud, was broken into and robbed. Robberies were very 
frequent about Maitland, and in the Upper Hunter and 
Patterson River districts, and these were all credited to the 
Jewboy gang, which was just coming into notoriety. On 
June 1 7th, 1839, four bushrangers were captured near 
Murrurundi. They had a black gin and a black boy 
with them. These were supposed to be part of the 
gang which had bailed up Lieutenant Caswell's place on 
the gth. When challenged Lieutenant Caswell refused 
to stand. One of the bushrangers fired at him, but 
his wife rushed forward and struck up the barrel 
of the gun in time to save her husband's life. For doing 
this another of the gang knocked her down. They searched 


the place and took away about 400 worth in money, 
jewellery, and other property. They held the road for a 
day between Green Hills and Maitland, and robbed every 
person who passed. The next day they went to Mr. Simp- 
son's house in West Maitland. A man employed there, 
however, fired at them, and they made off. On the following 
day Mr. Michael Henderson was knocked down and robbed 
near Wallis' Creek, on the road between East and West 
Maitland. Mr. Gotham came up at the time and was 
seized, thrown down, and robbed. As soon as news of these 
robberies were reported, Lieutenant Christie with a party of 
mounted troopers started in pursuit From Maitland the 
gang is supposed to have travelled northwards, and on the 
1 5th Mr. Fleming received a note requesting him to get up 
his horses early on the following morning. Instead of 
complying with this insolent order, Mr. Fleming sounded 
his men, and believing that he could trust them distributed 
arms among them and stationed them at various advantageous 
points. When the bushrangers arrived the men fired at 
them. The robbers returned the fire and ran to a hut, 
which they took possession of. A regular siege ensued, and 
the black gin proved herself to be an expert in loading guns. 
She was said to have acted as guard over men bailed up, 
while the bushrangers were waiting to stop other travellers. 
The bushrangers were dressed as gentlemen in clothes 
which they had stolen from some of their victims. They 
were well armed and had plenty of money. One of them, 
Thomas Maguire, was said to be a free man. 

During the year 1840, the Jewboy gang committed 
numberless depredations. They robbed Mr. Deake's house 
at Wollombi, stole his horses, took horses from several 
other stations, and held the roads at various places for a day 
at a time, and robbed every one who passed along. The 
head-quarters of the gang were at Doughboy Hollow in the 
Liverpool Ranges, and it was said that any man riding along 
the road near Murrurundi or Quirindi, or between these 
places and Tamworth, was " almost certain to lose his horse 
and whatever property he might have about him, and be 
compelled to walk to the next stage and perhaps further, 
while the bushrangers were riding his horse to death 
harrying other honest people." 


One of the stories told of the Jewboy was that he 
" rounded up " the chief constable of the district with a 
party of constables and volunteers who had gone out to 
seek for him, and after having " yarded them like a mob of 
cattle," took their horses, arms, and whatever money they 
had, and rode away laughing. However, sometimes the 
tables were turned on the bushranger. A bullock driver 
named Budge was bailed up by two of the gang. Budge 
had a little boy with him, and one of the bushrangers stood 
over Budge and the child while the other was ransacking 
the dray. Budge kept his eye on the sentry and, noticing 
him look round to see how his mate was getting on, sprang 
on him, snatched the pistol from his hand, and knocked 
him down. Then he ordered the other bushranger to get 
off his dray, and made the two stand side by side. He 
kept them standing thus for about two hours in hopes that 
some travellers would pass along and assist him to take 
them to the nearest lock-up, but unfortunately no one came, 
and he was forced at length to let them go. He, however, 
kept their arms and saddles, and these he delivered to the 
Commissary on arriving at his destination. There were 
two guns and four pistols, all loaded. One of the saddles 
was owned by Mr. Joliffe and was returned to him. 
In connection with this it is said that Budge, 
when he was an assigned servant on Mr. Potter's 
Marquesas Estate, some years before, had bolted with six 
or seven other servants on the estate, and started to walk 
northward with " the hope of reaching the Dutch settle- 
ments at Timour." They travelled for three days, during 
the last forty-eight hours of which they had nothing to eat 
Budge therefore left them and returned towards the Hunter 
River. He was so exhausted, however, for want of food, 
that he fell. He was discovered by a stockman who was 
out rounding up the cattle on the station. Budge was 
taken into the station in a deplorable condition, and for a 
time was not expected to live. He recovered, however, and 
continued to work in the district. Of his companions 
nothing was heard for some years, but later, when the 
country northward was explored, remains were found which 
were believed to be theirs. From these it was conjectured 
that, after Budge left, one man had been killed " to save 


the lives of the others." There was evidence that one man 
had been cut up, it was supposed for food ; but this had not 
saved the others. That at least is what the evidence 
pointed to. The remains had been so torn about by 
dingoes, crows, and hawks, as to make it impossible to 
identify them. The bodies were scattered over a wide 
area, some of them being several miles away from the 
others ; and it is not even certain whether the whole 
number were ever found. 

Nine men were arrested in Sydney and charged with 
being runaways. Eight of them proved that they were free 
men, and the constable who arrested them was censured. 
The case was cited as an instance of the arbitrary character 
of the Bushranging Act. One of the men, however, proved 
to be James Jackson, who had absconded from the estate of 
Mr. Turner, of Maitland. He was sent back to Maitland 
and convicted of bushranging, and was sent to penal 
servitude for life. He was said to have taken part in some 
of the robberies committed by the Jewboy gang, having 
been at large since the middle of 1840. 

On Sunday, September 26th, some of the gang bailed 
up the mail man between Muswellbrook and Patrick's Plains, 
and are supposed to have taken some ^250 from the 
letters. After this robbery one of them bolted from his 
mates, taking the greater part of the proceeds of their 
industry with him. He made his way to Sydney, where he 
passed himself off for a time as a free immigrant. He was 
arrested under the Bushrangers' Act and charged with being 
illegally at large. Then news of the mail robbery reached 
Sydney, and the fellow was sent to Muswellbrook, where he 
was identified by the mail man, and was sentenced to penal 

The gang afterwards went to Scone and stuck up 
Mr. Danger's store and Mr. Chiver's Inn. The storeman in 
charge, named Graham, fired at the bushrangers and then 
ran for the soldiers, but one of the bushrangers followed 
him, and before he reached the watchhouse, shot him dead. 
They hastily made a bundle of such articles as took their 
fancy, and left the town. They went to Captain Pike's 
station and seized the overseer, taking him with them. 
When they were far enough in the bush they formed them- 


selves into " a court," and tried him "for want of feeling." 
He was found guilty and sentenced to receive three dozen 
lashes, " which he got in good style." 

On Sunday, December 2ist, 1840, Captain Horsley, of 
Woodbury, Hexham, on the Hunter River, about five miles 
from Maitland, was awakened and alarmed by the violent 
barking of his dogs. He rose twice during the night and 
went out on to the verandah of the house, but could see 
nothing. As the noise continued he went out for the third 
time, when three men rushed at him. They threatened him 
with their guns and compelled him to surrender. They 
then took him back to his bedroom, made him get into bed, 
lie down, and cover his face with a pillow. The captain 
and Mrs. Horsley were told that if either of them moved, 
they would both be shot instantly. The robbers demanded 
the keys, and on being told where to find them they 
opened the drawers, cabinets, and cupboards, and made 
bundles of the clothes, jewellery, plate, and money. They 
collected all the guns and pistols in the house, using the 
most violent and profane language during their search for 
plunder. It is supposed that they were disturbed in their 
work, as they left very suddenly and dropped two gold rings 
and two silver candlesticks in their flight ; as these articles 
were picked up the following day outside the house. On 
hearing of this outrage, Mr. Edward Denny Day headed the 
soldiers and followed the bushrangers. They received tidings 
of them at several points on the Great Northern Road, the 
robbers bailing up people as they went along They crossed 
the Page River at Murrurundi and came up to the bush- 
rangers near Doughboy Hollow. Here the Jewboy made a 
stand. The fight was a desperate one, but ultimately the 
bushrangers were beaten and Edward Davis (the Jewboy), 
John Everett, John Shea, Robert Chitty, James Bryant, and 
John Marshall were captured. Richard Glanvill, the 
remaining member of the gang, made his escape, but was so 
closely pursued that he was captured in the scrub on the 
following day, the 24th December. They were tried and 
convicted and were hung on March i6th, 1841. 

In January, 1841, a public meeting was held in 
Maitland, and a vote of thanks was passed to Mr. E. D. 
Day for the service he had rendered the district in ridding it 


of such a desperate lot of villains as those which constituted 
the Jewboy gang. It was also resolved that a subscription 
should be taken up with the object of presenting Mr. Day 
with a handsome testimonial, and this was duly carried out. 
But the capture of the chief members of this formidable 
gang by no means rid the northern district of bushrangers, 
although no doubt it paved the way towards that desirable 
end. Of those who remained it is impossible to say 
whether they were members of this gang or not. Some of 
them had no doubt acted with it occasionally, while others 
may have always operated independently, though many of 
their depredations were credited to the gang by the public. 

Charles Vaut and Henry Steele, two of the assigned 
servants of Mr. George Furber, worked in the field all day 
on Saturday, April 24th, 1841, and were seen in the kitchen 
at eight o'clock at night. On the following Sunday evening 
the Rev. John Hill Garvan, residing at Hull Hill, four miles 
from Maitland, was sitting at tea just after sunset, when two 
men came to the door, presented their guns at him, 
and said, " Don't stir." Mrs. Garvan was so much 
alarmed that she nearly fainted, and Mr. Garvan asked 
that she might be allowed to retire to the bedroom. 
" Sit still," cried the robber, " or I'll blow your brains 
out and put your wife on the fire." Mr. Garvan then 
struck the smaller man, Vaut, who was nearest to him, 
and he snapped his gun at the minister, but it missed 
fire. The bigger man then ordered Mrs. Garvan to "go and 
sit on the fire." "Oh, don't, pray don't, make me sit on 
the fire," cried the poor woman, but the ruffian took her by 
the shoulders and forced her back on to the burning logs. 
At that moment a dray was heard coming along the road, 
and Steele let her go. She was more frightened than hurt, 
but her stockings were scorched. The two men then ran 
away, and went back to their beds at Mr. Furber's. They 
were arrested on the following day by Chief Constable 
George Wood, of Maitland. A pistol was found under the 
sheet of bark which served them for a bedstead. When 
brought up for trial, Judge Stephen (afterwards Sir Alfred 
Stephen), said the law of England on burglary made no 
provision for such an outrage as this, committed in a dwell- 
ing before nine o'clock. If they were convicted they could 


not be sentenced to more than fifteen years' imprisonment. 
The jury found them guilty, and they were sentenced to the 
term mentioned. They were afterwards charged with shoot- 
ing at Mr. Garvan with intent to do grievous bodily harm, 
and were found guilty and sentenced to transportation to a 
penal settlement for life. It is more than probable that 
these men, and many others like them, assisted the bush- 
rangers whenever an opportunity occurred that is, when the 
bushrangers operated in the neighbourhood in which they 
were assigned servants, but without actually becoming mem- 
bers of the gang. There was a sort of freemasonry among 
the convicts which impelled them to assist each other in 
their war against society, and even in cases where it was 
obviously to their interests to stand by and assist their 
masters, their sympathies with the bushrangers and their 
hatred of all forms of authority impelled them irresistibly 
to take the opposite side, to their own individual detriment. 
But the principal gang having been broken up in this district, 
robberies of the kind described gradually ceased, and it was 
some years before this district was again disturbed as it had 
been. In other districts, however, the bushrangers were 
still active. 

Mr. Michel, of Kurraducbidgee, was travelling to Port 
Phillip in February, 1840. He went into an inn near Yass 
for food and refreshment and found the place in the hands 
of the bushrangers. Fourteen men were bailed up and 
Michel was compelled to take his place in line against the 
wall of the bar. The bushrangers handed him a pannikin 
full of tea before they took his money. Knowing what was 
coming, he held the pannikin as if the tea was too hot to 
drink and, when the bushranger in charge was looking away, 
dropped his roll of bank notes into it. He stood very quietly 
and when the bushranger came to feel his pockets there were 
only a few shillings in them. They appeared to be quite 
satisfied and, on his saying that he had important business 
to attend to, he was allowed to go. He carried the pannikin 
out with him, took the money out and put it in his pocket 
without being observed, and threw the tea away. Then he 
mounted his horse, rode to the nearest police station and 
gave information. The police started for the hotel imme- 
diately, but the robbers had decamped and no information 


could be obtained as to the direction in which they had 

William Hutchinson, who had run away from the 
prisoners' barracks at Hyde Park, Sydney, in July, 1836, 
was captured on June 28th, 1840, at the corner of Market 
and George Streets. He had been out with a gang in the 
Windsor district and a reward of ^25 had been offered for 

In January, 1841, six armed men called at the lock-up 
at Appin, and asked Constable Laragy who was in charge 
to put them on the right road for Campbelltown. They said 
that they had come from Kings Falls. The constable stepped 
back for his gun, when one of them presented his gun at 
Laragy and told him not to be a fool. They didn't want to 
hurt him. As there was no one there to assist him he 
answered "All right," and showed them the road, which they 
probably knew as well as he did. It was said that this was 
merely a ruse de guerre to let the police know that they were 

On Sunday, October 24th, 1841, a man entered the 
house of a soldier in Parramatta and ofiered to pay half-a- 
crown for a night's lodging. The offer was accepted, but 
the host afterwards, noticing that his lodger carried pistols, 
became suspicious and went to the police station. A 
constable accompanied him back and identified the lodger 
as a bushranger who "was wanted." It was said that he 
had stuck up Mr. Frazer and several other persons just 
outside the town. The constable made an attempt to seize 
him and was promptly knocked down. The bushranger ran 
towards the river, and was followed and caught after a 
severe struggle. He walked quietly back towards the 
lock-up until he came to the corner of Macquarie Street, 
when suddenly wrenching himself free from the two men 
who were holding his arms, he exclaimed "This is my 
road," and "bolted." He was seen two days later at 
Longbottom, about halfway between Parramatta and 
Sydney, and was chased, but succeeded in eluding capture 
in the scrub at Five Dock. 

In February, 1842, the house of Mr. Gray in Balmain 
was stuck up. The bushrangers collected the watches, 
rings, money, and other valuables, and then compelled Mr. 


and Mrs. Gray and the servants to drink tumblers full of 
sherry wine to their success. They were very merry, and 
drank Mr. and Mrs. Gray's healths. When they departed 
they took a dozen and a half of sherry and a dozen of 
bottled ale with them to " have a spree in the bush." 

In the same month Colonel and Mrs. Gwynne, Major 
Woore, and Mr. Thomas Woore, J.P., with the Chief 
Constable of Goulburn, and another constable, were driving 
near Bargo Brush. The party was in two carriages, with the 
constable on horseback. They were stopped by a gang 
which it was said had just robbed the Goulburn mail. The 
constable on horseback was the only one of the party who 
carried a gun, and he bolted as soon as the bushrangers 
appeared, dropping his musket. The robbers took 
11 143. and the gun, but after holding a consultation 
among themselves they returned three one-pound notes and 
the fourteen shillings so that " the gentlemen might drink 
their healths." Then, wishing the party good-day, they 

In January, William Gunn and John South were arrested 
as runaways from the station at Port Macquarie. It was said 
that they had been at large for more than a year and had 
been with the Jewboy. They robbed the northern mail 
near Scone and were followed and captured. They wore 
black coats and vests, beaver hats and clean white shirts, 
" as if they had just come from an inn or a gentleman's 

In March, 1842, John Wilkinson alias Wilton escaped 
from Towrang stockade, carrying away with him Captain 
Christy's double-barrelled gun and a fowling piece. He was 
joined by another runaway named John Morgan, and on 
March loth they took possession of the Sydney Road near 
Berrima and bailed up every person who passed. They 
plundered several drays and stopped the mail-man. They 
searched the mail bags, but finding no money in the letters, 
they permitted the mail-man to gather them up and proceed 
on his journey. They took seven pounds from a passenger 
named Jones, but on his saying that he would have no 
money to pay for his board and lodging while in Sydney, 
they returned him two pounds. At Red Bank they stole 
a horse belonging to Mr. Post to carry their plunder. 


Further along the road towards Sydney, they met a trooper 
and a constable, and told them that they were in pursuit of 
a woman who had run away from her husband and had 
taken his spring cart and horse and some of his property, 
They pretended that they expected to overtake her before 
she reached Liverpool. At Crisp's Inn they had some 
champagne. Not far from there, still going towards Sydney, 
they tried to bail up Dr. McDonald, but he rode away. 
They fired at him but failed to overtake him. They slept 
that night in the little church at Camden. The following 
day they rode straight into Sydney, put up at a first-class 
hotel and remained there for several days, "living like 
gentlemen." By some means, however, they excited 
the suspicions of the police and became alarmed at 
the enquiries made about them. They therefore left suddenly 
and returned towards Berrima. Mr. Post, who had been 
away from home when his horse was stolen, started out in 
company with his son-in-law, Tom Howarth, to follow the 
bushrangers. The rapidity of their motions, however, threw 
him off the scent. On their return to the district in which 
he lived he met them and tried to bail them up, but the 
bushrangers rode away. The following day Chief-Constable 
Hildebrand, of Stone Quarry, and Tom Howarth saw the 
bushrangers near Bargo Brush. Hildebrand pretended to 
be drunk, and rolled about on his horse as if he was going 
to fall off, and Howarth started singing to heighten the 
illusion. This put the bushrangers off their guard and 
they allowed the constable to come close up. As soon as 
he was near enough Hildebrand pulled out his pistol and 
called upon them to surrender. They were taken by surprise 
and yielded at once. Howarth boasted that these two made 
eighteen bushrangers whom he had helped to capture. The 
two men were tried at Berrima, and sentenced to penal 
servitude for life. They narrowly escaped being charged 
with murder, as one of the bullock drivers stuck up on the 
loth had been severely wounded for forcibly resisting the 
ransacking of his dray. He recovered, however. 

Mr. Harrison, a jeweller and watchmaker, of Sydney, 
went to Glen Rock, and walked from thence to Berrima, to 
call on the settlers along the road to solicit orders. He \v;is 
bailed up by three men, who threatened to cut his throat 


with a razor. They tied his handkerchief over his eyes, 
took three ^i notes, a cheque for ;i, and an order for 
;io from his pockets. They returned the order saying it 

was "no good to them." A bullock driver and another 

traveller were bailed up, and then the bushrangers went into 
the road to stop a gig, and Mr. Harrison bolted into the 

Mr. Campbell was travelling along the Dog Trap Road 
when he was bailed up by three men and robbed. He 
returned to Parramatta and gave information to Chief 
Constable Ryan, who dressed in private clothes and with 
another constable similarly disguised started to drive along 
the road in Mr. Campbell's gig. Between Anlezack's Inn 
and Liverpool three men came out from behind trees and 
called on the constables to stand. Ryan immediately pulled 
up, and presenting his pistol at the men called on them to 
surrender in the Queen's name. The other constable 
jumped out of the gig and also presented his pistol, and the 
robbers capitulated. They were identified as John McCann 
and William Lynch, escapees from Norfolk Island, who had 
landed from a whale boat some months previously, and 
James O'Donnell, alias William McDonald, who had 
absconded from the Hyde Park Barracks a short time 
before, in September, 1842. A considerable amount of 
property was recovered when their camp was searched. 

Mr. F. E. Bigge, a settler in the northern district, started 
to take a drove of horses across the country to Moreton Bay. 
He was assisted by Alexander McDonald and two assigned 
servants. When between Schofield's and Brennan's stations, 
near Tamworth, they were called upon to halt by three 
armed men, known as Wilson, Long Tom or Coxen's Tom, 
and Long Ned. The order was obeyed, and then Mr. Bigge 
was ordered to strip. He refused, and one of the bush- 
rangers called to another of them to knock him down with 
the butt of his gun ; but, observing that Mr. Bigge was 
trying to get his pistol out of his belt, he fired. The first shot 
was said to have been fired by Long Tom, but Wilson fired 
immediately afterwards and wounded Bigge in the shoulder. 
McDonald, having no arms, rode away to Schofield's for 
assistance. In the meantime Bigge succeeded in getting his 
pistol out of his belt and fired at the nearest bushranger, 


who fired in return, the other two also firing. Bigge 
drew his second pistol and fired, and the bushrangers 
having expended their ammunition ran away. Bigge 
then mounted and rode to Brennan's. Finding no one 
there he went on, and his horse bolted and threw him. He 
then walked to Nillenga, whe/e he found Dr. Jay, who 
dressed his wounds, which wefle not considered dangerous. 
In the meantime, McDonald, when he started to go to 
Schofield's, met Mr. Kayes and another gentleman, but 
they refused to go with him to assist Bigge. McDonald 
went on to the station, but not being able to obtain any 
arms or assistance there, he rode back again, and found the 
bushrangers' horses and some baggage, which they had left 
behind when Mr. Bigge put them to flight. McDonald 
collected the horses, which had been scattered, and drove 
them to Tamworth, where Mr. Allman soon organised a 
large party to go in pursuit of the bushrangers. Wilson 
had been captured by Mr. Robertson only a few weeks 
before and had been sent to the chain gang at Maitland, 
from whence he had effected his escape. They were all 
three caught and were sent to penal servitude. 


Bushranging in South Australia ; The Robbers Captured in Melbourne ; 
A Remarkable Raid in Port Phillip ; Going Out for a Fight with 
Bushrangers ; A Bloody Battle ; Cashan and Mclntyre ; The 
Fight with the Mail Passengers ; Cashan Escapes from the 
Lock-up ; Is Re-captured ; Mclntyre Caught at Gammon Plains. 

THREE bushrangers named Wilson, Green, and another, 
robbed the settlers in the vicinity of Lyndoch Valley, South 
Australia, and extorted heavy contributions from their 
victims in the latter part of the year 1839 and the beginning 
of 1840. These robberies had been going on for some 
months before news of them reached Adelaide. The 
colony had been only founded a little more than three 
years before, and communication was difficult and very 
irregular. There were no roads and the police provisions 
were not yet of a character to enable the authorities to cope 
effectually with such an outbreak as this. 

The robbers called at Mr. Read's station and knocked 
at the door of the house. The woman opened the door 
and was immediately knocked down by one of the robbers 
without any notice being given or question asked. Another 
robber fired his musket at her at so close range that the 
wadding of the gun bruised her cheek, but the slugs with 
which it was loaded did not injure her. Immediately on 
hearing of this outrage, Mr. Inman, superintendent of the 
police, left Adelaide with a party of mounted troopers, and 
as he proceeded on his way, news of other robberies were 
spread about. The movements of the police, however, 
appear to have been known to the bushrangers, as they 
were fired at when passing through some scrub. Not 
knowing how many men there might be in the gang, Mr. 
Inman intrenched himself, and sent to Adelaide for more 


men, and in a few days parties of mounted police arrived 
from Gawler and Mount Barker. The district was 
thoroughly searched, but without success. About the 
middle of February, three men on horseback arrived in 
Melbourne, Port Phillip. Their principal place of resort 
was the Royal Highlander Inn, in Queen Street, where they 
spent money freely and drank heavily. One of the men 
was recognised by the police as a convict from Van 
Diemen's Land, free by service. He was arrested on 
suspicion of having stolen the horse he rode, from Mr. Cox, 
but as Mr. Cox's superintendent could not swear to the 
animal, although he bore the station brand, the man was 
discharged and immediately left Melbourne. On Sunday, 
February 23rd, Wilson was arrested for drunkenness and 
rowdyism, and was fined 55. next morning at the police 
court While there he was seen and recognised by two 
South Australian policemen who had been to Sydney with 
some prisoners, and were on their way home. Wilson and 
Green were both arrested that evening and charged with the 
robbery at Mr. Read's station, South Australia. They were 
detained until warrants could be obtained from Adelaide, 
when they were sent there and convicted. The robbers had 
travelled from South Australia to Melbourne, via Portland 
Bay, and had probably stolen the horses and perhaps some 
other property on the road. The third man, whose name is 
not given, was searched for, but was not found, and it was 
supposed he had crossed the Murray into New South Wales. 
What is generally said to be the first highway robbery in 
the Port Phillip district took place in April, 1842. A gang, 
composed of John Ellis, alias Yanky Jack, Jack Williams, 
Young Fogarty, and a "Van Demonian" named Jepps, 
bailed up Mr. Darling and a friend as they were riding to 
an out-station on the Dandenong run to brand cattle. The 
robbers took 2 and a silver watch from Mr. Darling, and 
one shilling and sixpence from his friend. Mr. Darling 
was riding a thorough-bred horse, and Jack Williams 
remarked that he was a fine beast, and ordered Mr. Darling 
to show off his paces. This was a blunder on the part of 
the bushranger, who should have tried the horse himself, 
and Mr. Darling was not slow in taking advantage of it 
He did not wish to lose his horse, and therefore ierked the 


bit, rolled about in the saddle, and pretended that he had 
as much as he could do to keep his seat while the horse 
was cantering. Williams watched as the horse went past 
him a couple of times, and then said, "That'll do. He 

seems to be a rough 'un." He contented himself with 

the horse the friend was riding, giving him his knocked-up 
horse in exchange. The bushrangers handed Mr. Darling 
his watch, asked for it again, and returned it a second time 
after passing it round for each to look at. Then as the gang 
was going away Williams turned back, asked Mr. Darling 
to let him see what the time was, and when that gentleman 
again showed him the watch he took it and put it into his 
pocket. He then produced a bottle of rum, and after having 
taken a swig himself passed it to Mr. Darling and his friend 
with the remark that " a drop of grog was good on a cold 
day." Then he took five shillings from his pocket, gave 
this also to Darling to " drink their healths with at the next 
public-house," said "good day," and rode on after his mates. 
The gang went along the main road up the Plenty River 
robbing the stations on either side of the road as they came 
to them. They stuck up Messrs. Serjeantson, Peet, Bond, 
Langor, Marsh, Fleming, Rider, Bear, and Captain Harrison, 
collecting a goodly assortment of watches and chains, mostly 
silver, and some money. It was after dark when they 
finished at Mr. Bear's house, and they camped by the creek 
within sight of the house for the night. 

Early next morning the gang took to the road again and 
robbed Messrs. Sherwin, Roland, and Wills. At about nine 
o'clock they reached Mr. Campbell Hunter's station as the 
family was sitting down to a breakfast of roast duck, 
kippered herrings, and coffee. Williams walked into the 
room pistol in hand and cried, " Put up your hands." He 
was immediately obeyed. Then looking round he said 
" Gentlemen, you must make room for your betters." Those 
present were Messrs. Campbell Hunter, Alexander Hunter, 
Streatham, Rumbold, Boswell, and Dr. Grimes. They were 
made to stand up against the wall while the roast ducks and 
other good things were removed to a slab hut used as a 
store room. The bushrangers had, however, only just 
begun their breakfast when a large party of armed men 
galloped up. 



News of the robberies of the previous day had reached 
Melbourne in the evening, and Messrs. P. Snodgrass and 
H. Fowler, of the Melbourne Club, had resolved to "go 
out for a hunt." They got their arms and horses, and 
started, and were joined by several other gentlemen, among 
whom were Mr. Sergeantson, and others who had been 
robbed, to the number of about thirty. The bushrangers 
hastily made the Messrs. Hunter and their other prisoners 
promise not to take part in the coming fight, and then took 
up positions behind the fence. Undeterred by this show of 
resistance, Mr. Gourlay jumped his horse over the fence, 
alighting close to Jack Williams, so close, in fact, that the 
flash from the bushranger's pistol, which was fired 
immediately, singed his whiskers and burned his cheek. 
The bushranger dashed his pistol down on the ground with 
an oath, and drew another, but Mr. Snodgrass, leaning over 
the fence, shot him in the head before he could make use 
of it. Thinking he had killed his man, Snodgrass turned 
to Yanky Bill, when Williams jumped up and fired point 
blank at Gourlay, who shouted, "Tell my friends I died 
game," and fell. Mr. Chamberlain shot Williams through 
the head and killed him. Much to the surprise of those 
near, Mr. Gourlay jumped up again almost as quickly as he 
had fallen, and it was soon discovered that the pistol bullet 
had smashed his powder flask and glanced off, inflicting 
only a severe bruise. 

On the death of their leader the bushrangers rushed to 
the hut, and took shelter there, pointing their pistols 
through the openings between the slabs, and a fierce 
fusilade took place, during which Mr. Fowler was severely 
wounded. Then there was a pause. It was believed that 
the ammunition of the robbers had been expended, and a 
horse dealer residing in the neighbourhood, named John 
Ewart, but usually known as Hoppy Jack, volunteered 
to go in and speak to the bushrangers. At first this 
was objected to as being too dangerous, but Hoppy 
Jack insisted, and said it would be "all right." He 
advanced towards the hut waving a white handkerchief, and 
after a few words at the door was admitted. The result of 
this embassy was that the bushrangers agreed to surrender 
provided that their captors would sign a petition to the 


judge to deal leniently with them. This was readily agreed 
to, and the men came out and gave themselves up just as a 
party of mounted police appeared on the scene, and the 
prisoners were handed over to them. 

This raid was principally remarkable for the boldness 
and rapidity with which it was executed. The bushrangers 
travelled directly from one station to the next, taking the 
shortest route, which was generally along the main road 
The robberies were effected in very short time at each 
station, the bushrangers contenting themselves with money, 
watches, rings, and other property carried on the person. 
There was no time wasted in breaking open boxes or 
drawers, and there was no necessity to spare their horses, a 
a knocked-up horse could be exchanged for a fresh on^ 
almost whenever the robbers pleased. Mr. Gourlay was 
little the worse for his bruises and burns, although the 
powder marks on his face remained, but Mr. Fowler died a 
few days after the fight. The prisoners were tried and con- 
victed, and in spite of the recommendation to mercy duly 
signed by their captors and forwarded to the judge, 
were sentenced to death for the murder of Mr. Fowler. 
Jepps confessed that it was he who had fired the fatal shot, 
but he also said that he had refused to join in an attempt 
to murder Judge Willis, the resident judge in Port Phillip. 
They were all hung in Melbourne, in May, 1842. 

During the following two years there was little bush- 
ranging in any part of New South Wales, but in 1844 
Mclntyre and Cashan, alias Nowlan, held the roads between 
Hartley, Bathurst, and Mudgee for several days, robbing all 
who passed. On December 2, 1845, tnev stopped the 
mail at Bowenfels, on the main Sydney road at the foot 
of the Blue Mountains, on the western side. They called 
on the passengers to hand over their money and valuables, 
but two of them resisted and drew their pistols. A fight 
took place, and the bushrangers were worsted, Cashan being 
captured, while Mclntyre ran away into the bush. Cashan 
was taken to Bathurst, tried, convicted, and sentenced to be 
transported for life. He was being taken to Sydney, in 
April, to be sent to Cockatoo Island, when the escort 
stopped at Weatherboard Hut for the night, Cashan being 
lodged in the lock-up. He broke out during the night, and 


could nowhere be found. He travelled to Gundagai, 
where he stuck up Mr. Nicholson's station, taking clothes, 
provisions, horse, saddle, and bridle. Mr. Andrews, who was 
in charge of the station, and who was absent when Cashan 
called, on hearing of the robbery followed the bushranger. He 
rode to Charles Simpson's station, but was told by Messrs. 
Edwin and Alfred Tompson, who resided there, that no 
bushranger had been seen. While they were talking a man 
on horseback came in sight, and Andrews recognised him 
as the robber from the description that had been given of 
him and the horse he was riding. Andrews retreated into 
the house out of sight, and Cashan pode up, dismounted, and 
asked for refreshments, but he was immediately seized by 
the Tompsons and told that he was a prisoner. He asked, 
" How dared they insult a gentleman in that manner," and 
struggled hard to escape ; but, finding that this was no use, 
he became quiet, and said he was ready to go wherever 
they wished him to. They took him towards the house, 
which was only a few steps distant, when suddenly he broke 
away with a laugh, ran down the bank, and plunged into 
the Murrumbidgee River. The river was in flood at the 
time, and was therefore twice its ordinary width, and running 
strongly. Cashan, encumbered with a great coat, and 
perhaps with other stolen property, could make no headway 
against the current. He sank at once, rose some distance 
lower down, and succeeded in grasping the pendulous 
branches of a swamp oak (Casuarina) hanging over the 
water. After a severe struggle he contrived to haul himself 
out of the water, and took a seat in the fork of the tree. 
He was still on the same side of the river as Simpson's 
station, and at no great distance from the bank, although 
the flood waters prevented Alfred and Edwin Tompson 
from getting close to him. However, Edwin Tompson 
covered him with his pistol, and threatened to shoot him if 
he moved. They talked for some time, and the bush- 
ranger, seeing no chance of escape, agreed to give himself 
up. He dropped into the water, swam to the bank, 
and walked quietly to the house, where he was tied and 
made secure for the night. The next day he was taken to 
Yass by the Tompsons and Andrews, and in spite of his 
frequent attempts to break the handcuffs and make his 


escape, he was safely lodged in the lock-up. He was 
identified as one of the men who had burned Dr. Bell's 
house at Braidwood, and robbed the Braidwood mail. 
When robbing the Braidwood mail in company with 
Mclntyre, he nearly committed murder, one of the pas- 
sengers having been dangerously wounded. He was 
convicted and sentenced to be hung. 

In the meantime, his former partner had not been idle. 
On the 2ist April, 1846, the two brothers Cutts were 
travelling towards Sydney with a number of horses, when 
they were stopped at Meadow Flat, less than a quarter of 
a-mile from Howard's Inn. They were compelled to 
dismount, place their money on the ground, and retire. 
They deposited ^3 i8s. in notes and silver and a watch on 
the ground, and then stepped back several paces as they 
had been ordered to do. William Cutts begged that a seal 
attached to his watch might be returned to him, as it was a 
present from his dead wife, and he valued it accordingly. 
The bushranger, who was supposed to be Mclntyre, told 
him that " if there was any more palaver " he would get his 
brains blown out. The robber took up the money and 
watch, mounted his horse, and rode away. As soon as 
information of the robbery was received in Bathurst the 
mounted troopers started in pursuit of the bushranger. 

On Monday, August nth, two men went to the Golden 
Fleece Inn, Gammon Plains, and remained drinking till 
Friday. On that day the landlord, Mr. Perfrement, received 
his copy of the Maitland Mercury, and saw in it a list of 
the numbers of the bank notes recently stolen from 
the Singleton mail. He compared the numbers with those 
of the notes he had received from his two guests, and 
finding that some of them corresponded, he went to the 
police station and gave information. The inn was not a 
large building, but there were several out-houses and the 
bushrangers were in some of these. Perfrement and the 
police went to one of these huts at the rear of the inn and 
found Mclntyre there. Perfrement put his hand on the 
bushranger's shoulder and said "You're a prisoner." "Am I," 
exclaimed Mclntyre jumping backwards, " Come on." Con- 
stable Barker rushed in and a fierce wrestling match begun 
and lasted for some minutes. Then Mclntyre got on top 


and tried to get his pistol out from his belt. Mr. Perfrement, 
who had snatched the other pistol from him when the 
wrestling first began, now threatened to shoot him if he did 
not surrender, but as the bushranger took no notice Perfre- 
ment endeavoured to twist the other pistol out of his hand. 
While this struggle was going on Barker wriggled from under 
the bushranger, got up, and struck him so heavily with his 
fist as to stun him. Mclntyre lay still for several minutes 
before he regained consciousness, and by that time his hands 
were tied. His companion was found fast asleep in another 
hut and was easily captured. They were tried in Maitland, 
and Mclntyre was subsequently hung, while his companion 
was sent to penal servitude. 


Bushrangers and Pirates ; Capture of H.M. Brig Cyprus by Bush- 
rangers ; A Piratical Voyage ; Stealing the Schooners Edward and 
Watenvitch ; Mutiny of Prisoners on H.M. Brig Governor Phillip 
at Norfolk Island ; The Trial of the Mutineers at Sydney ; How 
Captain Boyle Recaptured the Vessel. 

THE connection between bushranging and piracy may not 
at first seem very apparent, but the bushrangers stole more 
than one vessel, and started a career of crime on the high 
seas instead of on the high roads, and our story of the bush- 
rangers would be incomplete were no reference made to 
thefts of vessels and boats, and their use as vehicles for 
robbery. It is not very surprising that so many convicts 
made their escapes from Macquarie Harbour, Port Arthur, 
and Norfolk Island, in whale boats which they stole, long as 
the voyages made were. The whale boat has played a 
conspicuous part in Australian exploration. Lieutenant 
Bass made his memorable voyage from Sydney, when he 
discovered the straits which bear his name, in a whale boat 
in which he started to explore the coast. Flinders and 
many others also made long voyages and many discoveries 
in whale boats ; for the Pacific, the largest of the oceans of 
the world, however stormy it may be at times, fully deserves 
the name bestowed upon it by early navigators, for several 
months in the year. Hence a voyage in a whale boat from 
Norfolk Island or from Van Diemen's Land is not so 
dangerous as the distance to be travelled might suggest. 
We know that even now it is no very uncommon 
occurrence for convicts to steal boats and sail or 
sow from New Caledonia to some part of the coast of 
Australia, and we know also that the Australians have at times 
entertained no very friendly feelings towards France for 


persisting in maintaining a penal settlement so near their 
shores. It is not with the capture of whale or ships' boats 
that we now have to deal, but with the seizure of larger 
vessels. In August, 1829, the Government brig Cyprus ; 
commanded by Captain Harris, left Hobart Town for 
Macquarie Harbour with thirty-three convicts on board, 
the crew consisting of twelve, including the Commander, 
and there were also some soldiers under the command of 
Lieutenant Carew, and some women and children, number- 
ing eleven altogether. The brig put into Research Bay 
on the south coast of the island, and anchored, but a gale 
arose and the brig was driven from her moorings, and lost 
her anchor and cable. She put back to Hobart Town, 
obtained a fresh anchor, and started again. On reaching 
Research Bay she was again anchored, and the anchor and 
cable lost a few days before were recovered. At about six 
in the evening, while the men on board were having supper, 
Lieutenant Carew, Dr. Williams, a soldier, and Popjoy (the 
coxswain), with two or three convicts, started in the long 
boat to catch some fish. They had not rowed very far 
when they heard shouting and some shots on board the 
brig, and Lieutenant Carew exclaimed : " Oh, my God ! 
The convicts have taken the ship." They pulled back as 
rapidly as possible, and Carew tried to climb on board, but 
was threatened with a musket by one of the prisoners. 
When the trigger was pulled the gun flashed in the pan and 
Carew again tried to get on board, but was pushed back into 
the boat. He then asked the convicts who were clustered 
round to give him his wife and children, and these 
were passed into the boat. Mrs. Williams, her servant, 
and the wives of a couple of the soldiers were also 
put into the boat. It appears that when the long boat 
left there were only Captain Harris and two soldiers 
on deck, the rest of the crew and passengers being 
below at supper. Suddenly five heavily ironed prisoners 
made a rush, and knocked down the captain and two 
sentinels. Others rushed to the hatchway, and began to 
put the hatches on, when the soldiers and crew, fearing that 
they would be suffocated, agreed to surrender. They gave 
up their arms, and as they came on deck they were 
conducted to one of the boats, in which several prisoners 


who had had their irons taken off seated themselves at the 
oars. Popjoy was compelled to go on board, as it was said 
his services would be required for navigating the vessel. 
Then the captain, the lieutenant, and doctor, with the 
women, the soldiers, and the crew, were rowed to an island 
in the bay and landed. Seventeen of the prisoners were 
also landed, the mutineers only numbering sixteen of those 
on board. The boats were hoisted in, the sails lowered, 
and the ship got under way. But as she started Popjoy 
jumped overboard and swam ashore. As the brig went 
down the bay the men on board shouted " Hooray ! the 
ship's our own, hooray ! " The captain and others landed 
on the little island in the bay, with no means of reaching 
the mainland, suffered great hardships. For several days 
they had nothing but a few mussels and other shellfish 
which they picked up on the beach to eat. Popjoy, how- 
ever, came to the rescue. He made a sort of canoe of bark 
and sticks, and sailed out into the open sea. Here he saw 
the barque Zebra, and made signals. He was taken on 
board, and a couple of boats with provisions were sent in 
to feed and bring off the fugitives. For these services 
Popjoy, who was a convict with a ticket-of-leave, received 
a free pardon. What became of the brig and its crew 
of mutineers was for some time a matter of conjecture. 
It was reported in Australia that she had been seen 
at Valparaiso. Then it was said that she had foundered 
at sea owing to the ignorance of navigation of the 
men on board. However, in the beginning of March> 
1830, the Committee of Supercargoes at Canton 
were informed that four persons with a ship's boat had 
landed. They represented themselves as part of the crew 
of an English merchant vessel which had been wrecked on 
the China coast. The story was not believed, as no such 
wreck had been reported, but enquiries were made and a 
man calling himself William Waldon, of Sunderland, was 
examined. He represented himself as having been the 
commander of the brig Edward, which left the London 
Docks in December, 1828, bound for Rio de Janeiro. On 
his return voyage he had called at Valparaiso and the 
Sandwich Islands. At Japan his ship had been fired at 
from a battery and much damaged. He sailed for Manilla, 


but had to abandon the brig near Formosa, as she leaked 
heavily. He and the fifteen men of the crew had taken to 
the boats and all had been lost except himself and the three 
men with him. The boat bore the name : " The Edivard, 
of London William Waldon." Although some doubt was 
still entertained the Committee arranged for the four men 
to be taken to England in the Charles Grant. A few days 
after their departure another boat with three men on board 
arrived at Whampoa. The leader, Huntley, represented 
himself as having been wrecked in the brig Edward, but 
said the captain's name was James Wilson and that she had 
left London in June, 1828, and gone straight to the Cape. 
When near the Ladrones he had quarrelled with Wilson and 
run away. As the two accounts differed so materially the 
former suspicions were revived and Huntley was sent 
home under arrest in the Killie Castle, and on the 
arrival of the Charles Grant in London the three 
men on board, John Anderson, Alexander Telford, 
and Charles Williams, were arrested. Waldon had landed 
at Margate, and thus escaped for the time, but was arrested 
in London a week or two later. The four men were 
brought up at the Thames Police Court on September 22nd, 
1830, for examination, and were charged with piracy. The 
principal witness was Popjoy, who had returned to England 
on receiving his pardon. He identified Huntley as George 
James Davis, a convict who had been sentenced to death at 
Hobart Town for highway robbery, but whose sentence had 
been commuted to penal servitude at Macquarie Harbour. 
Davis was one of the leaders of the mutiny when the brig 
Cyprus had been seized. Alexander Stevenson, sometimes 
called Stevie, who now appeared as Telford, had been 
convicted in Glasgow in 1824, and had been reconvicted 
for bushranging in Australia. John Beveridge, alias 
Anderson, was sentenced in Perth in 1821, and was further 
sentenced in Hobart Town to seven years' penal servitude 
for having robbed Mr. Peachey. William Watts, alias 
George Williams, was known in Van Diemen's Land as 
Wattle. He ran away from a chain gang and took to the 
bush. He had stabbed one man and had attempted to 
shoot another. Of Swallow, Popjoy knew nothing, but had 
seen him on board the Cyprus before the mutiny. The 


boat which had been sent from China to England was 
identified by Popjoy as one belonging to the Cyprus^ the 
names Edward and Waldon, having been painted on it 
since the mutiny. The prisoners were tried at the 
Admiralty Court, on November 4th. Popjoy, under cross- 
examination, admitted that he had been transported to New 
South Wales for horsestealing. He had been assigned to a 
master, and had run away. He had received two hundred 
lashes at Botany Bay, but this was "only a few." 
He had been sent to Van Diemen's Land, and had 
been charged with highway robbery near Hobart Town, 
but had "proved his innocence." He had "buried in 
oblivion all the charges" made against him in the colony. 
He went to Macquarie Harbour in the Cyprus as a volunteer. 
Dr. Williams, surgeon, said that he was on board the Cyprus 
when she was seized by convicts in Research Bay, in 
August, 1829. He had gone in the long boat with 
Lieutenant Carew to fish, "and when the boat was some 
distance from the brig they had heard a clashing of arms. 
They put back, and Lieutenant Carew tried to get on 
board but was repulsed, and a pistol was snapped at him. 
He then asked for his sword, but a convict named Ferguson, 
who had it, refused to give it up. When Mrs. Carew and 
Mrs. Williams were put into the boat, Swallow came to the 
side of the vessel and said, "Gentlemen, you see I'm a pressed 
man. I am unarmed, and surrounded by armed men." In 
consequence of this testimony, Swallow, alias Waldon, was 
acquitted, but was subsequently sent to the colony to serve 
his original sentence. Davis, alias Huntley, Watts, alias 
Williams, Stevenson, alias Telford, and Beveridge, alias 
Anderson, were sentenced to death. 

On January 13, 1840, six bushrangers were captured 
at Woolnorth, near Circular Head, and were charged with 
having attempted to seize the schooner Edward, the 
property of the Circular Head Shipping Company of Laun- 
ceston, Van Diemen's Land. The object with which this 
vessel was seized was to enable the bushrangers to escape to 
one of the South Sea Islands, where they intended to settle. 

The schooner Waterwitch was seized at the Forth River 
by three bushrangers on January zyth. The robbers told 
the captain that they did not wish to do him or his vessel 


any harm, but that they were determined to go to Sealers" 
Cove. If he liked to take them, well and good; if not v 
they would take the vessel there themselves and turn her 
adrift. The captain agreed. He took the bushrangers to- 
where they wished to go, and parted with them very 

From time to time several small vessels disappeared, and 
it was supposed that their captors had succeeded in naviga- 
ting them to some of the Islands, but as nothing further was 
ever heard of them, it is supposed that they either foundered 
at sea, or that if the bushrangers reached the islands, their 
predatory habits or brutal violence embroiled them with the 
natives, and they were killed in the fights which took place, 
but it is impossible to do more than conjecture their fate, 
and to speculate as to whether their acts of aggression were 
the cause of some of the apparently unprovoked attacks of 
the savages on the crews or passengers of other vessels. 
This subject has never been adequately investigated, and 
there is too little evidence available to enable us at present 
to do more than refer to the subject as one worthy of 

The case which attracted the most notice in Australia, 
perhaps, was the capture of H.M. Brig, the Governor 
Phillip. On October i5th, 1842, John Jones, Thomas 
Whelan, George Beavors, Henry Sears, Nicholas Lewis, and 
James Woolf, alias Mordecai, were charged in the Criminal 
Court, Sydney, with that they did on the 2ist June, 1842, 
on board the brig Governor Phillip, the property of Our 
Sovereign Lady the Queen, assault one Charles Whitehead, 
with intent to murder. There was a second count charging. 
the prisoners with piracy. The brig was lying out in the 
roads, at Norfolk Island, discharging cargo and taking ia 
ballast. The prisoners were sent from the shore with a 
boat load of ballast and slept on board the vessel. Two- 
of them were called up at about four a.m. to bale the 
boat out, and Jones asked William Harper, one of the 
sailors, if he could navigate? Harper replied "Yes,, 
if I had a slate and pencil." No notice was taken 
of this incident at the time, but afterwards it wa& 
deemed to have been an indication that a conspiracy to seize 
the vessel had been formed among the prisoners. At seven 


o'clock the remainder of the boat's crew was called up to 
begin work, when Bartley Kelly rushed at one of the sentries 
and knocked him down with a belaying pin, while Lewis 
knocked down another. Then there were cries of "Jump 

overboard, you " and " Throw the overboard and 

they'll tell no tales." Charles Whitehead was sergeant of 
the guard in charge at the time. Henry Sears struck him. 
It was not known whether the soldiers jumped or were 
thrown overboard, but one sentry who was missing had 
been thrown over by two of the mutineers. The noise 
roused the soldiers who were below and they attempted to 
gain the deck, but were driven back by the prisoners, who 

shouted "Keep down, you , or we'll kill you." They also 

called for " Hot water to scald the soldiers." Captain 

Boyle, who was in command of the vessel, was in his cabin 
at the time when the mutiny occurred ; Christopher Lucas, 
the second mate, being in charge of the deck. Lucas had 
been knocked down in the first charge, but he contrived to 
slip away and went to the captain's cabin and reported the 
mutiny. He also went to the soldiers' quarters and roused 
them up, but by that time the prisoners had control of the 
deck and prevented the soldiers from ascending the hatch 
gangway. Lucas had received several very severe blows on 
the head with belaying pins and had been left for dead. The 
captain also tried to mount the gangway but did not succeed. 
He then went to the men's quarters and ordered the 
carpenter to cut away the fore and aft piece of the hatchway 
which the mutineers had closed. By this means he was 
enabled to raise the hatch slightly and shot a prisoner 
named Moore. Bartley Kelly had also been severely 
wounded by one of the sentries and was unable to 
rise. Another prisoner named McLean came to the hatch- 
way and told Captain Boyle that if he would consent to 
leave the brig with the soldiers they would all be put on 
shore. The captain refused. McLean then told him to 
give up his arms. The captain fired at him by way of reply 
and McLean fell dead. The death of the leaders seemed to 
have a depressing effect on the other mutineers. Beavors 
asked the captain " for God's sake " not to fire any more. 
Encouraged by this appeal for mercy, Captain Boyle forced 
the hatchway open and went on deck, followed by the 


soldiers, and the mutineers, having lost their leaders, 
surrendered. The vessel was under the control of the 
mutineers for about a quarter of an hour. Beavors, alias 
Berry, and Jones, alias Jack the Lagger, were the least 
active of the mutineers. It was Sears who had struck 
Whitehead, the sergeant of the guard, immediately after 
Whitehead had shot Kelly. Kelly died from his wound the 
following day, but Whitehead recovered, although, at one 
time, his life was despaired of. The brig was 180 tons 
burden, and there were on board eighteen men, including an 
officer and eleven men of the 96th regiment. The Chief 
Justice, Sir James Dowling, before whom the case was tried, 
said that had Sergeant Whitehead died he could have held 
out no hopes for the prisoners. The jury which had found 
them guilty had recommended them to mercy, and he 
agreed in that recommendation for all except Henry Sears. 
It was his duty to pronounce the death sentence, but with 
the exception named he would not deprive them of hope. 
As a result Sears was hung, while the sentences on the other 
prisoners were commuted to penal servitude for life. 


Van Diemen's Land Again ; A Hunt for Bushrangers in the Mountains ; 
Some Brutal Attacks ; " Stand !" " No, thanks, I'm very Com- 
fortable Sitting ; " A Degrading Exhibition ; A Determined Judge ; 
Cash, Kavanagh, and Jones, an Enterprising Firm ; The Art of 
Politeness as Exhibited by Bushrangers ; A Bushranger Hunt in 
the Streets of Hobart Town ; The Capture of Cash ; Break Up of 
the Gang ; A Doubtful Mercy. 

FOR some years the roads in Van Diemen's Land had 
been comparatively safe, very few highway robberies 
being recorded, and the newspapers generally asserted 
that bushranging, in its worst form, had been stamped 
out. This assertion, however, is not altogether borne out 
by the evidence, and the most that can be said is that 
bushranging was not nearly so prevalent as in former times, 
and no bushranger had exercised his calling for a 
sufficiently long time to earn notoriety, but even this 
comparatively happy condition did not last very long. 

The bushrangers James Regan, William Davis, James 
Atterill, alias Thompson, and Anthony Bankes having 
committed a number of depredations on the settlers, the 
Government resolved to make a decisive effort to capture 
them. Consequently, on February 2ist, 1838, Captain 
Mackenzie, with three privates of the 2ist Fusiliers, two 
constables of the Field Police, and two prisoner volunteers, 
went to Jerusalem, where he was informed by the Police 
Magistrate of Richmond that another house had been 
robbed by the bushrangers, who had retired to the Brown 
Mountain. A guide, well acquainted with the Tiers, was 
found, and the party started the following morning. They 
struck into the bush a short distance beyond Mr. 
Tomley's, and at two o'clock came to a hut where the 


stockman, an intelligent lad, informed them that the 
bushrangers had robbed his master's house on the 
previous night at ten o'clock, taking a horse to carry the 
robber Bankes, who had been wounded. The lad was 
taken as a guide, and led them up a ravine, which soon 
became too steep for the horses. They reached the summit 
of the Brown Mountain about dusk, but without seeing any 
fire or other indication of a camp. They reached Mr. Ree's 
house, on the Richmond side, about midnight, and returned 
to Jerusalem at six on Friday morning, having been march- 
ing for twenty-three hours over very rough country. After 
six hours' rest Captain Mackenzie took Wesley, one of Mr. 
Johnson's shepherds, as guide, and resumed the search. 
They reached Mr. Stokell's house at dusk, and approached 
it with great caution. Finding no one there, Captain 
Mackenzie left two sentries, and pushed on to Romney's, 
where they arrived at about half-past one. The moon was 
shining brightly. The hut was surrounded, and Captain 
Mackenzie called for three volunteers, telling the men that 
it was a forlorn hope, as the robbers would probably shoot 
two out of the three, the moonlight being so bright. The 
captain called on Regan by name to surrender, but received 
no answer. He then walked up to the window, and said to 
the occupant of the hut, " Tucker, you old blockhead ! 
why don't you open the door?" There was a rattle of 
musketry, and the captain stepped back into the shadow of 
the hut. Captain Mackenzie called out to his men not to 
fire unless the bushrangers did, or unless they rushed out 
and tried to escape. Then Constable Peacock advanced 
to the window and looked in. Captain Mackenzie said if 
the door was not opened he would fire, and after waiting a 
minute or so told Private Cockburn to shoot, but not too 
low. Cockburn fired into the window when the door was 
opened, and a man came out. The captain cried "Lie 
down, or you die." "I'm Tucker," said the man, "don't 
shoot," and threw himself on his face. The captain went 
to the door and looked in, when Private Cockburn cried, 
" Take care, captain, the fellow is going to fire. They are 
all armed." This raised a cheer among the soldiers, who 
now knew that their men were there. Regan it appears 
had tried to bring his musket to bear on the captain, but 


could not do so without exposing himself. The captain 
gave the word to fire, and a volley was poured into the hut. 
Then the captain asked Regan to surrender, promising not 
to hurt him. Regan endeavoured to induce the captain to 
promise not to prosecute them, but he refused, saying it 
was more than he could do. Finally, they consented to 
surrender, and Atterill crawled out naked. He was tied. 
Regan was then called, and he refused to come out on his 
hands and knees, saying that he would sooner be shot than 
be treated like a dog. The captain told him he might walk 
out if he came without arms and held his hands up. He 
did so, and the police then went in and brought out the 
other two. The prisoners were handcuffed and placed in a 
cart. About ^14, found in their clothes, and their guns 
and pistols, were carried in another cart. Tucker was 
employed by Mr. Romney and was considered the best 
guide in the district. The robbers had taken possession of 
his hut and intended to make him show them the way 
across the mountains on the following day. The party 
reached Richmond on Saturday night, and early next day 
the bushrangers were lodged in the gaol at Hobart Town. 
The prisoners were tried and convicted of several acts of 
bushranging, ranging from highway robbery to burglary. 
They were all sentenced to death, but only Regan was 
hung.* The Cornwall Chronicle said " His inquisitors 
were conscious that, had he been permitted to give his 
dying attestation to the treatment he had received from his 
master, it would have been so appalling and horrible as to 
leave the guilt of his crimes, in the estimation of an 
impartial public, not on his own head, but on theirs." 
" The Government," said the paper, " is afraid to hear the 
dying statements of the condemned." 

On September 8th, 1840, two armed men entered 
the Post Office at Ross, and bailed up the post-mistress, 
who was also a store-keeper. They took from her about 
;i6 in cash and a quantity of wearing apparel. A 
large sum of money which was enclosed in a letter ready for 
despatch was missed by the robbers. The police were 
informed and at once followed on the track of the bush- 

* The Colonial Time*. 


rangers, but failed to arrest them. On the following evening 
the bushrangers went to a hut on the station of Mr. Joseph 
Penny, of Ashby Cottage, and tied the shepherd, telling 
him that if he was quiet and did as he was ordered they 
would not hurt him ; but that if he refused to obey they 
would shoot him. They went to the gardener's lodge and 
compelled the gardener to give them some food. While 
they were engaged in eating a man who had previously 
agreed to go out opossum hunting with the shepherd called 
at the hut and shouted. He received no answer, the 
shepherd believing that the bushrangers were " trying " him. 
The friend knocked again and shouted, but receiving no 
reply went in. He was surprised to see the shepherd lying 
down tied and quickly untied him. The two men then 
went to the house and informed Mr. Penny of what was 
going on. Quickly arming himself and the two men Mr. 
Penny went to the gardener's lodge and surprised the 
bushrangers before they could get their pistols and guns 
ready. They were tied and conducted into the town, and 
were subsequently convicted and sent to penal servitude. 

James Leverett, while driving a cart belonging to Mr. 
James Cox, of Clarendon, was attacked by a bushranger 
and brutally beaten. The bushranger struck him on the 
head from behind and stunned him. He stopped the horse 
and battered Leverett about the head. Then he searched 
his pockets and decamped. The constable stationed at 
Morven happened to pass along the road, and seeing the 
horse and cart standing went over to ascertain what was 
the matter. Finding Leverett lying in the cart insensible 
the constable took him to the police station and sent 
for a doctor. He then followed the tracks of the 
bushranger, but failed to find him. Another man, a 
servant of Mr. Stephenson, of Curramore, was beaten 
and robbed in a similar manner. It was said that 
these assaults were committed by ticket-of-leave men, 
who were thrown out of employment by the arrival of a 
large number of free immigrants. 

On the 1 5th April, 1841, James Broomfield and Jonas 
Hopkins bailed up and robbed Henry Atkins, Bonney, 
taking seven five pound notes from him. In company with 
James McCallum the same two bushrangers went to the 


house of Thomas Bates, at Norfolk Plains, about midnight, 
and woke him up, demanding something to drink. Bates 
told them that there was plenty of water in the cask. 
This, however, did not satisfy them, and they broke into 
the kitchen. They took some flour and grain from the 
cask and made a damper. While this was baking they 
took a watch, some money, and a quantity of clothes out of 
the bedroom. When they had had a meal, they left with 
their plunder, but were followed and captured. They were 
convicted of robbery with firearms and were sentenced 
to death ; their sentences were, however, commuted to 
imprisonment for life. 

John Gunn, George Griffiths, William Lambeth, Samuel 
Harrison, and Thomas Hum stuck up and robbed Daniel 
Downie on the 5th September, 1842, of clothing and money. 
They were followed by Constables Patrick Flynn and George 
Marsden, and a volunteer named Joseph Masson. The bush- 
rangers were armed with a fowling-piece and a musket. 
They went next morning to the hut of James Thompson, 
and told him not to be frightened as they did not intend to 
hurt him. They took his money and were walking away, 
when the constables came up and called on them to stand. 
They surrendered and were taken to gaol. When they were 
convicted, sentence of death was recorded against each of 
them, but they were not hung. 

On May 4th, 1843, Mr. Thomas Massey, of Ellerslie, 
South Esk River, was sitting on his verandah when John 
Conway came up, presented a gun at his head, and cried 
" Stand." " No, thank you," replied Mr. Massey, " I'm very 
comfortable sitting down. What do you want ? " Conway 
then asked where the man was. Mr. Massey replied, " Out 
in the kitchen." A man named Riley Jeffs was standing 
a short distance away with Henry Blunt and a man 
named Pockett, both of whom had their hands tied 
behind them. Jeffs left the two tied men and went round 
to the kitchen, while Conway demanded money and fire- 
arms. Jeffs returned with the manservant and tied his 
hands. The robbers then took two double-barrelled guns, 
a single-barrelled fowling-piece, with a shot belt and powder 
flask, some tea, sugar, flour, and a gallon of rum. After 
they had gone Constable Thomas Connell, of Campbelltown, 


with Joseph Masson, Matthew Perry, Edward Quin, Aaron 
Dunn, and Stephen Wright followed the bushrangers to 
Blunt's hut, when two men ran away. One of them was 
lame and was soon caught. It was Jeffs, who said he had 
accidentally wounded himself the day before, after he left 
Mr. Massey's. The other man, Conway, was captured after 
a brisk run. At their trial, Mary Bryan, servant at Mr. 
Massey's, said she recognised Conway by his big nose. 
" How many inches ? Did you measure it ? " asked Jeffs, 
but the question was ruled out of order by Judge Montagu. 
The prisoners were then tried for the murder of Constable 
William Ward. They went to Mr. James Gilligan's house, 
Clifton Lodge, Break-o'-day Road, and asked Sarah Vasco, 
the servant, whether any one was at home. She replied, 
" Only master and mistress and a gentleman." They had 
four men with their hands tied behind them. Jeffs stopped 
with these at the kitchen door, while Conway walked into 
the passage. When he reached the parlour door he pre- 
sented his gun and cried, " Stand, or I'll blow the 
contents of this through you." Ward, who was sitting near 
the door, jumped up and grappled with the bushranger. 
They struggled together into the passage. Mrs. Gilligan 
pushed her husband to prevent him from going out, and 
slammed the parlour door. Mr. Gilligan heard the struggle 
along the passage, and then a gun went off. He got the 
door open at last and went out. He saw Ward lying on the 
floor of the kitchen. Jeffs and Conway and the four men 
whose hands were tied were looking at him. Conway said 
to Gilligan, " You go back into your room, old man, or I'll 
mark you." In the fight in the passage both of the men 
had endeavoured to obtain possession of the gun, but 
between them they let it fall and it exploded without injuring 
any one. Conway then broke away and ran into the kitchen. 
Ward followed him and was grappled by Jeffs. While they 
were wrestling Conway drew a pistol and watched for a 
chance, and when Ward was on top holding Jeffs down 
Conway deliberately put the pistol to his shoulder and fired. 
Ward rolled over dead, and Jeffs got up. The robbers then 
demanded money, and Mrs. Gilligan went to the bedroom 
upstairs to fetch some. Conway accompanied her. Mrs. 
Gilligan said, " It's a great pity, Mr. Ward had a large 


family." " Well," replied Conway, " why didn't he keep out 
of our road ? We tried to shoot him before." The prisoners 
were convicted of wilful murder. In his summing up the 
Judge said that the four men who were present appeared to 
be accomplices, although they were tied. They had 
prevaricated so much in their evidence that it was worthless 
or worse. He would consider whether it was advisable to 
prosecute them for perjury. Conway was very violent while 
in gaol. He threw a loaf of bread at the gaoler, and 
threatened that if he got out he'd " do for him." Jeffs and 
Conway were hung at Launceston in July. The census of 
the town had been taken a short time before, and showed 
that the population was 4458 souls. The Launceston 
Advertiser said that there were more than a thousand men, 
women, and boys present to see Jeffs and Conway hung. 
Numbers of people took their blankets with them and slept 
in the square all night. They were singing songs and 
making a great noise. The paper says the scene was a 
disgraceful one, and doubts whether such exhibitions can 
have any beneficial effect. 

John Price and Thomas Roberts were tried for highway 
robbery. Judge Montagu said that if the robbery had been 
committed at night, or if any undue violence had been 
used, he would have cast them for death without hope of 
mercy. It appeared, however, that they had been followed 
and captured at once, and therefore, although the death 
sentence would be recorded against them, they would be 
sent to a penal settlement, and he hoped they would reform. 

John Fletcher and Henry Lee stuck up and robbed 
Daniel Griffin at Cocked Hat Hill, on November 6th, 1844. 
In passing sentence of death, Judge Montagu said that he 
was determined to put down robbery on the high road 
between Hobart Town and Launceston, and especially 
about Cocked Hat Hill. It was a horrid place. No man 
was safe there. The residents were fortunate in having so 
active and energetic an officer stationed there as Constable 
Harvey. He would sentence the prisoners to transportation 
for life. When they were being removed from court, Lee 

said, as he was passing Constable Harvey: "I'll rip your 

guts out, you , if ever I get out." 

On the loth July, 1841, Hogan and Armytage visited 


the Travellers' Rest Inn, within four miles of Launceston. 
There were eight men in the bar and they took all the 
money they could get, some grog, and provisions. Hogan 
said he was tired of the bush, and wished " it was all over." 
Armytage looked ill and miserable. The police followed 
them as soon as news of the robbery was conveyed to 
Launceston, but without success, as the bushrangers were 
too well acquainted with the country round there. 

On January 8, 1841, a bushranger went to a shepherd's 
hut on Mr. Frank's station, Lake Crescent, and tied the 
shepherd, telling him that he would shoot him if he got 
loose. The robber only got a few shillings. The robber 
went away, but soon returned, and seeing the shepherd still 
tied, cautioned him again and went away. The man 
remained tied for several hours before he attempted to 
untie the rope. It was said that this was the man who had 
robbed Mr. McCrae's station, and murdered a shepherd on 
Mr. Brodribb's station. 

On the following day, Hogan the bushranger walked 
into a public-house kept by Mrs. Bonny at Deloraine, and 
asked for two case bottles of rum. On these being given to 
him, he took a ham and a pudding and walked away, saying 
that he wanted them for his mate, who was ill. Although 
there were five or six men in the bar at the time, no attempt 
was made to detain him. Nothing further is known about 
Armytage, who is supposed to have died in the bush ; but 
Hogan was captured and sentenced to penal servitude on 
Norfolk Island. 

On April 2, 1842, it was reported that Martin Cash, 
the notorious bushranger who had for so long a time defied 
the police, had been captured in a house in Harrington 
Street, Hobart Town, by Constables Kirby and Williams. 
He was lodged in the lock-up, but during the night suc- 
ceeded in making his escape. 

On March 25, 1843, the bushrangers Martin Cash, 
Lawrence Kavanagh, and Thomas Jones, armed to the 
teeth, bailed up Mr. Panton at Broad Marsh, and fired 
at Dr. Macdonald. The police started in pursuit. On 
April 1 8th, the gang visited Mr. Hay, who was in his barn 
overlooking five shearers who were at work. They were 
ordered to stand up and put down their shears. Then 


the men were forced to tie each other. While the 
bushrangers were plundering the house, Mr. Ward came 
up. He was ordered to stand, but instead of obeying 
he ran away. Cash followed and fired his pistol, the 
shot grazing Ward's ear. Ward, however, kept on and 
got behind a tree, and the bushrangers decamped, taking 
very little plunder with them. On the 1 9th they captured 
Mr. John Clarke and his overseer, Mr. Denholme, and 
compelled them to accompany the bushrangers to the late 
Mr. Allardyce's house on the Clyde River. They went into 
the parlour, and after arranging the chairs, invited the 
gentlemen to sit down. Then they called for brandy and 
glasses. The servant brought in a bottle of brandy and a 
tin pannikin. Cash was in a great rage. He swore at the 
servant, and asked him in an indignant tone, "Is that a 
proper thing for gentlemen to drink out of? Take it away 
and bring glasses." When the^-had had some refreshments, 
Cash sat talking to Messrs. Clarke and Denholme, while 
Kavanagh and Jones collected the plunder. The bush- 
rangers were said to be very haggard in appearance and not 
well dressed. 

On May the i8th they invited themselves to visit 
Captain McKay, on the Dee River, and dined with him in 
the most amicable manner. After dinner they loaded two 
horses with clothing, provisions, and other articles from the 
store. Then, taking Captain McKay with them, they went 
to Mr. Gellibrand's, where they loaded a third horse. With 
this the bushrangers appear to have been satisfied, as they 
went away. 

"Messrs. Cash & Co.," as some of the Van Diemen's Land 
papers called the gang, visited Mr. Christopher Gatenby, of 
the Isis, on July ist, and politely apologised for their intrusion. 
They as politely asked for a supply of provisions, which they 
said were necessary owing to the police having recently 
captured their camp and taken away all that they could find 
there. Mr. Gatenby opened the store and gave them what 
they required, and then Cash said he should feel extremely 
obliged if Mr. Gatenby and four of his servants would carry 
the provisions to their new camp. He politely explained 
that this was necessary, as the police had taken their horses. 
The invitation was so pressing that Mr. Gatenby could not 


refuse. He therefore took up a portion of the swag, while 
his servants shouldered the rest, and escorted by the three 
bushrangers they started into the bush. After walking for 
about two miles Cash said he would not trouble Mr. Gatenby 
to go any further, as he thought that they could manage 
without him. The load he was carrying was distributed 
among the bushrangers, and Mr. Gatenby returned home, 
after having been profusely thanked for his generosity in 
giving them the provisions and his kindness in carrying 
them so far. The servants were taken two or three miles 
further into the bush, and were then allowed to deposit 
their loads under a gum tree and return home. Cash 
denied that the gang had had an encounter with the 
Campbelltown constables. He said that the constables 
found their hiding place when he and his mates were 

On August 22nd two men dressed as sailors were seen 
by the constables in Hobart Town enquiring for the 
residence of a well-known suspicious character. One of the 
constables stepped forward, and gave them the address they 
required. Then one of the sailors walked away, while the 
other remained standing near the constables as if in 
bravado. The constables held a consultation, and decided 
to arrest the sailor as a suspicious character. Two of them 
went towards him, when the sailor drew a pistol, fired, and 
then ran. The shot took no effect, and the constables gave 
chase. Charles Cunliffe, a carpenter, was standing at the 
door of his house as the sailor passed, and hearing the 
constables chasing him and crying " Stop, thief ! " he joined 
in the chase. As they went down Brisbane Street Constable 
Winstanley came out of the Commodore Inn on hearing the 
hullabaloo, and attempted to seize the sailor, but the sailor 
drew a pistol from his belt and fired. The ball passed 
through Constable Winstanley's chest, but nevertheless he 
grappled with the sailor and held him until Cunliffe came 
up, when Winstanley fell. Cunliffe and the sailor had a 
terrific struggle for a few minutes, Cunliffe being much 
bruised, but he held on until the other constables arrived 
and secured their man. The sailor was taken to the 
Penitentiary, where he was identified as Martin Cash. It 
was believed that the other sailor was Lawrence Kavanagh, 


but although search was made for him, he could not be 
found. Constable Winstanley died from the effects of his 
wound two days later. 

Martin Cash was tried for the murder of Peter Win- 
stanley on September i5th, and was found guilty. He said 
he had been standing quietly in the street when a constable 
came up and cried out, " It's Cash, blow his brains out." 
He had then fired and run. The constables were all 
cowards. They thronged round him when he was down, 
but they would never have caught him if it had not been for 
Cunliffe. Judge Montagu said in reply that he could see 
no proof of cowardice in the action of the police. They 
were not such fast runners as the prisoner. Charles Cunliffe 
was the more active, and consequently he had caught the 
prisoner first. For this he deserved credit, but the police 
had arrived at the spot without delay and were also to be 
complimented for their share in the capture of so dangerous 
a character as the prisoner. He then sentenced the prisoner 
to be hung on Monday, the i8th instant. 

Cash, however, was not hung, but was sent to Norfolk 
Island for life. Rewards of one hundred acres of land 
or one hundred sovereigns, in addition to the rewards 
previously offered of fifty sovereigns, with a free pardon for 
convicts and a free passage to any post in Her Majesty's 
dominions, were offered for the capture of Kavanagh and 
Jones, dead or alive. 

Thomas Jones, in company with John Liddell and James 
Dalton, stuck up Catherine Smith's house on December 6th, 
at Effingham Banks. They tied the servants and went into 
Mrs. Smith's bedroom. The lady requested them to 
go out while she dressed, and they complied. When 
Mrs. Smith got up the bushrangers ordered the servants 
to get them some supper, telling them that they need 
not be afraid, as nobody would hurt them. They 
made the servants sit down while they ate. After their 
meal they opened the drawers and took out clothes 
and other articles which suited them, and went away. On 
December nth they stuck up a hawker named John 
McCall. They drove his cart half a mile into the bush off 
the road, and tied McCall to a tree. Then they made a 
bundle of the articles they wanted in the cart, and went 


away. On December 3oth Thomas Jones, " late with 
Messrs. Cash & Co.," with another man named Moore, 
dressed as sporting gentlemen, went to Mr. William 
Field's, and enquired if he was in? They were answered 
in the negative, and they then went to the men's hut and 
bailed up the two men there. As the others came in they 
were compelled to stand in a row against the wall. When 
Mr. Shanklin, the overseer, came in, Moore told him to 
kneel down and say his prayers, as he intended to shoot 
him. The men interceded for the overseer, saying that he 
always had treated them well. Moore asserted that 
Shanklin had "got him an extension of time," and he 
meant to have revenge. He was very violent in his 
language. Jones had been looking on very quietly, but 

he now said, " Oh, let the go, and let him beware how 

he behaves in future." Moore at first objected, but gave 
way, and Shanklin was made to stand up with the assigned 
servants. The robbers broke open Mr. Field's escritoire, 
and took ^50 out of it. They also took tea, sugar, flour, 
and other things from the store. 

In the meantime the police had not been idle. They 
had had several brushes with the bushrangers, and had 
captured Kavanagh, Liddell, and Dalton. After this last 
robbery Jones and Moore were followed, and Jones was 
captured. They were all convicted and sentenced to death, 
but were told that probably their sentences would be 
commuted to penal servitude. On hearing this Liddell 
exclaimed, " I don't want mercy from you or any 
one else. I've been eleven years at Port Arthur 
and I don't want to go there again. I'd rather die than 
live." Judge Montagu said that this statement showed 
a deplorable frame of mind and exhorted Liddell to think 
of the future. Dalton complained that he had been 
knocked down by Thompson, the gaoler. Mr. Thompson 
said that the prisoner was a very desperate man. " But 
you'd no right to put irons on my neck," cried Dalton. 
The Judge said it was the duty of the gaoler to prevent 
escape. If he deemed it necessary he had a perfect right 
to put irons on the neck of a prisoner as well as on his 
hands and feet. He should report the behaviour of the 
prisoners in the proper quarter and he could not recom- 


mend either Liddell or Dal ton to mercy. " I don't care 

a what you do," exclaimed Dalton. George Cumsden, 

who had also been associated with Jones in some of his 
robberies since the capture of Cash and Kavanagh, was 
also sentenced to death, " without the hope of mercy." He 
had threatened to " blow a hole through " any witness who 
appeared against him. 

There was again a lull in bushranging in Van Diemen's 
Land, and again the papers asserted that the crime had 
been stamped out. The majority of those convicted had 
been sent to Norfolk Island, and this, it was said, would 
act as a deterrent to other evil doers. Norfolk Island 
was feared more than death. 


Norfolk Island : Its Founding as a Penal Station ; The Terrible 
Discipline, in Norfolk Island ; An Attempt to Ameliorate it ; Its 
Failure ; The Rigorous Treatment Restored ; The Consequent 
Riot ; Jackey Jackey's Revenge ; An Unparalleled Tale of 
Ferocity ; The Soldiers Overawe the Rioters ; Thirteen Con- 
demned to the Gallows ; Jackey Jackey's Remarkable Letter ; 
The End of Several Notorious Bushrangers. 

NORFOLK ISLAND, lying some seven hundred miles from the 
coast of New South Wales, was first utilised as a penal 
settlement in 1788, when it was decided that convicts who 
committed crimes in New South Wales should be transported 
there for more severe treatment. Early in the nineteenth 
century a rumour spread in Australia that Napoleon the First 
intended to fit out a fleet to search for Admiral La Perouse, 
and to found colonies in the south seas. The truth of this 
rumour seemed to be affirmed by the activity of the naval 
authorities in New South Wales. Settlements were made at 
Port Essington in the north, King George's Sound in the 
west, and the Derwent River in Van Diemen's Land. Shortly 
afterwards, in 1805, the prisoners were removed from 
Norfolk Island to Hobart Town, apparently for the purpose 
of strengthening the settlement in Van Diemen's Land. 
When Van Diemen's Land was made independent of New 
South Wales, in 1825, Norfolk Island was again made a 
penal settlement of the mother colony, and it so continued 
until transportation to New South Wales ceased in 1842, 
when Norfolk Island was transferred from the jurisdiction of 
the Governor of New South Wales to that of the Governor 
of Van Diemen's Land. The treatment of the prisoners in 
the island was rigorous in the extreme, and may aptly be 
described as savage. When the enquiry of the House of 
Commons, by Select Committee, was made in 1837 and 1838, 


as to the condition of the convicts in the penal settlements, 
the few particulars published about the evidence in the 
English newspapers had some effect on public opinion, and in 
1841, Captain Maconochie, one of the witnesses examined 
who said that the prisoners might be governed with less 
harshness, was appointed Commandant of Norfolk Island, 
with instructions to try the mild reformatory treatment he 
advocated. Captain Maconochie and his supporters in 
England do not seem to have realised that human beings 
who have been under demoralising influences until they have 
reached the adult age, and their characters have become set, 
are not amenable to civilising influences. These should 
have been applied during the impressionable years, and the 
younger they are applied the more successful they are likely 
to be. This fact, however, does not yet seem to be known 
sufficiently in England, and therefore small blame attaches 
to Captain Maconochie, if he was not aware of it sixty years 
ago. The new Commandant abolished Sunday labour as a 
punishment, shortened the hours of labour on week-days, 
and granted holidays for good behaviour. He allowed the 
men to build huts and to cultivate small patches of ground, 
and thus to provide themselves with vegetables. He also 
gave them tins to cook in, and served out rations individually, 
instead of giving the rations out in messes. It does not 
appear that the prisoners became unduly riotous under this 
treatment, and no such murders as were mentioned by Judge 
Forbes and other witnesses before the Select Committee, in 
which men had killed their mates for the purpose of being 
hung "out of their misery," took place. One of these 
murders which occurred only a short time before Captain 
Maconochie took charge may be mentioned here. Stephen 
Brennan was sent to the island for bushranging. He 
was tried there and found guilty of the murder of 
another convict. There had been no quarrel between the 
two men, who were as friendly as circumstances permitted 
under the rigid discipline, nevertheless Brennan suddenly 
struck Patrick Lynch a blow with a stone-breaker's hammer, 
and then stabbed him with a knife. The murder was 
committed avowedly so that the perpetrator might be hung, 
and thus escape the harsh treatment he was subjected to, 
and it is not improbable that it was committed with the 


consent of the victim, for although there is no evidence of 
this in this case, it is well known that men had actually 
drawn lots in Norfolk Island, to decide which should 
murder the other and get hung for the crime. In place of 
crimes like this, there were quarrels and some rowdyism, 
but this was sufficient for the opponents of the new 
experiment. Paragraphs appeared in the Van Diemen's 
Land papers jeering at the "plum pudding policy" of 
Captain Maconochie, and asserting that Queen's birthday 
rejoicings only led to increased disturbances in Norfolk 
Island. Whether these paragraphs were inspired by the 
prison officials, who feared that if Captain Maconochie was 
successful there would be an end of " the system " which 
they had organised, it is impossible to say, but after a three 
years' trial, the mild treatment was pronounced a failure, and 
Major Joseph Childs was appointed to supersede Captain 
Maconochie, as Commandant of Norfolk Island, and reached 
the island on February 8th, 1844. Major Childs landed 
with orders to revert to the old rigid discipline, and he 
appears to have endeavoured to carry these orders out to 
the best of his ability. The hours of work were increased, 
holidays abolished, and all the old punishments re-estab- 
lished. These alterations were made very gradually. 
As I have already said, the prisoners had been supplied 
with rations individually, and were allowed their own 
pots and pans to cook them with. In July, 1846, new 
regulations were issued that rations were to be issued in 
bulk and to be cooked in the general mess house. The 
rations on the island had always been notoriously bad, and 
consisted generally of salt beef and maize. Captain 
Maconochie had allowed them to grow potatoes. The 
privilege was abolished on January ist, 1846, when the 
garden plots were taken from the prisoners and laid waste. 
The prisoners refused in a body to go to work unless some 
equivalent was given them for their potatoes, and half a pint 
of peas daily was promised them. After three days the 
peas in stock gave out, and another mutiny took place. 
Numbers of the prisoners were flogged, but this did not 
quieten them, and Commandant Childs promised them that 
eight ounces of flour should be served out in place of the 
peas. In a few days, however, the stock of flour was 


exhausted, and then, " incredible as it may appear, an old 
order, issued in May, 1846, after the gardens were taken 
away from the prisoners, stating that two pounds of sweet 
potatoes should form part of the daily rations, was posted 
up ; although it must have been known to the superin- 
tendent that it would be utterly impossible to serve out a 
single ounce of sweet potatoes a man daily for a week."* 
The sweet potatoes in the island had been grown by the 
men, and had been most unjustly taken away from them 
when their gardens were laid waste. It was well-known 
that there were no sweet potatoes in the island, and 
the reposting of this old and obsolete regulation 
was an outrage on truth. The prisoners were not 
slow in showing their indignation, nor very particular 
as to the words they used in expressing it. And 
it was during the dissatisfaction consequent on the 
posting of this old order, that the new regulation calling in 
the kettles on July the ist was posted. When the order 
was first posted, the majority of the prisoners were in their 
cells. A few were attending school, and among these was 
Jackey Jackey, who was doing a sum when the soldiers 
came round to collect the kettles. Hearing the rattling of 
the tins, he raised himself up, pencil in hand, and listened 
intently. Then he pushed the slate away, folded his arms, 
and sat as if in deep thought. The other prisoners present 
were whispering together, trying to conjecture what was 
being done with their tins. On the following morning, July 
2nd, the prisoners were all mustered for prayers, a practice 
only recently introduced along with the repressive measures 
of the new superintendent. During the service the men 
kept whispering and paid but little attention. Several times 
order was called for, but this only produced a lull for a 
time. When the prayers were over the men marched to the 
Lumber Yard and read the new regulation. Then they 
found that their tins had already been removed. There 
was silence for a moment, followed by fierce and eager 
whisperings, then the whole body marched to the Barrack 
Yard, broke open the store, and took out all the tins they 
could find. They marched back to the Lumber Yard, and 

* Launceston Chronicle, 


then Jackey Jackey made the following speech : " Now, 
men, I've made up my mind to bear this oppression no 
longer ; but, remember, I'm going to the gallows. If any 
man funks let him stand out. Those who wish to follow 
me, come on." 

A policeman named Morris was standing in the archway 
or entrance to the yard, Jackey Jackey rushed forward, 
struck him a fearful blow with an enormous bludgeon, and 
knocked him down. A large mob of the prisoners snatched 
up such weapons as came to their hands and followed him. 
Many of the prisoners only had sticks, some large, some 
small. One had a reaping hook and another a pitchfork. 
As soon as the sentry fell under the blow from Jackey Jackey, 
the other prisoners were upon him, beating, stabbing, and 
cutting until the man was a fearful sight to look upon. 
Jackey Jackey then led the way to the cook-house, where 
Stephen Smith, the police overseer, was in charge. Smith 
was something of a favourite among the prisoners, but this 
good feeling availed him nothing at this time. When Jackey 
Jackey came rushing towards him, Smith cried out in a 
piteous tone, " For God's sake don't hurt me, Jackey ? 
Remember my wife and children ! " " Damn your wife and 
children," shrieked Jackey Jackey, as he crashed in one side 
of Smith's head with his bludgeon. Jackey Jackey passed 
on, leaving those who followed him to finish his bloody work 
if necessary. Near the gate of the Barrack-yard John Price, 
overseer of work, and a man named Ingram were standing 
together. Jackey Jackey rushed towards them and aimed a 
blow at Price, but he dodged back and the club struck 
Ingram, nearly killing him. Jackey Jackey raised his club 
for another blow at Price, when the surging crowd behind 
pushed him forward, and Price escaped and ran for the 
soldiers. The prisoners behind Jackey Jackey now raised 
the cry of " Barrow ! Barrow ! " and from this it is con- 
jectured that their main object was the murder of the 
Stipendiary Magistrate of the Island, Mr. Barrow, who was 
believed by the prisoners to be the cause of much of their 
misery. Jackey Jackey turned from the Barrack-yard and 
led the way towards Government House. On their road they 
came to the limekilns, and Jackey Jackey, who had by this 
time exchanged his club for an axe, opened the door of the 


hut there. Two policemen were stationed there and they 
had not yet risen from their beds. One named Dixon was 
still asleep, and Jackey Jackey smashed the axe through his 
skull as he lay. The other, Simon, sprang from his bed on 
to the floor, but was immediately knocked down by a 
ferocious blow aimed at him by the bushranger, his brains 
and blood spattering the walls of the hut. Jackey Jackey 
immediately left the hut, and while his followers crowded in 
to strike at, or jeer at, their dead enemies as their humour 
prompted them, he coolly stood aside and lighted his pipe. 
After drawing a few whiffs he said in a loud calm voice, 
" Now, boys, for the Christ killer," and the crowd responded 
with shouts of " Hooray ! Now for Barrow's." " To 
Barrow's." "To Barrow's." They started off, but had not 
gone far when the soldiers with muskets loaded and 
bayonets fixed barred the road. 

At this time there were about eighteen hundred prisoners 
on the island, and of these, sixteen hundred were among the 
rioters. The soldiers numbered only about three hundred, 
but their discipline enabled them to overawe the vastly 
superior force, numerically, opposed to them. Perhaps the 
habits of obedience and submission, so long enforced on the 
prisoners, may have had some influence. Perhaps, even 
among this herd of desperate and reckless men, the sight of 
the soldiers standing firmly with their guns presented ready 
to fire may have instilled some fear. However this may 
have been, there was no fight. The rebels retired slowly and 
unwillingly to the Lumber Yard, where they permitted the 
soldiers to arrest them one after the other without making 
any show of defence until one thousand one hundred and 
ten of them were placed " on the chain." Perhaps Jackey 
Jackey and the more violent of his followers may have 
thought that they had done sufficient to ensure them that 
death on the gallows which was the avowed object of their 
rising, while the majority had been so demoralised by official 
brutality as to be utterly indifferent as to what might become 
of them. 

Among those arrested were Jackey Jackey, the bush- 
ranger with a continental notoriety, and Lawrence Kavanagh, 
the Van Diemen's Land highwayman. John Gardner, John 
Jackson, William Duncan, Abraham Farrer, and John 



Booth, some of them convicted bushrangers, were also 
conspicuous for their support of Jackey Jackey in the 
murder of officials. Another New South Wales bush- 
ranger engaged in this riot was Michael Houlihan, who 
had been captured by Commissioner Brigham on September 
10, 1842, in the Lachlan district, and transported to Van 
Diemen's Land for highway robbery and horse-stealing, and 
had been sent from thence to Norfolk Island for similar 
offences committed near Hobart Town. Besides these 
there were John Price, and many others named in 
Chapter X., who were among the insurgents and who more 
or less actively supported the leaders. On the other hand, 
Martin Cash, the companion of Kavanagh, refused to take 
part in the rising. He retired from the Lumber Yard when 
Jackey Jackey announced his intention, and remained in his 
cell during the whole time of the riot. Some speculation 
has been indulged in as to his reason for so acting. It 
is certain that he was not deterred by fear. Possibly, 
having been for so long the leader of a gang of bushrangers, 
he objected to serve under another and a younger man. 
He, however, was almost the only well-known bushranger 
confined in the island at the time who did not follow 
Jackey Jackey. 

As soon as news of the riot and its suppression reached 
Van Diemen's Land, Judge Brown was sent to Norfolk 
Island by the Lieutenant-Governor, Sir W. T. Denison, 
to try the prisoners, and Jackey Jackey, Henry Whiting, 
William Pickthorne, William Scrimshaw, Kavanagh, Gardner, 
Jackson, Duncan, Farrer, Booth, and three others, making 
thirteen in all, were arraigned on the charge of murdering 
John Morris. They were convicted and sentenced to death. 
They were all executed on October 13, 1846. 

The following letter was written by Jackey Jackey to a 
former chaplain at Port Arthur, and was published in the 
Cornwall Chronicle. " The spelling of many of the words 
has been corrected, but the style has not been interfered 

H.M. Gaol, Norfolk Island. 
Condemned Cells, 1846, October the 8th. 

Reverend Sir, As in duty bound to you for the kindness you have 
shown to me, and the interest I have always seen you take in those that 
have ever been under your spiritual care, whatever may be their fate, I 


have been induced to write to you, hoping this may find you in good 
health, and in the enjoyment of all God's choicest blessings. I have to 
inform you, that long before this letter reaches your hands, the hand 
that wrote this will be cold in death. I do not grieve that the hour is 
fast approaching that is to end my earthly career. I welcome death as 
a friend ; the world, or what I have seen of it, has no allurements in 
it for me. 'Tis not for me to boast ; but yet, Sir, allow a dying man 
to speak a few words to one who has always shown a sympathy for the 
wretched outcasts of society, and ever, with a Christian charity, strove 
to recall the wretched wanderer to a sense of his lost condition. I 
started in life with a good feeling for my fellowman. Before I well 
knew the responsibility of my station in life, I had forfeited my birth- 
right. I became a slave, and was sent far from my dear native 
country, my parents, my brother, and sisters torn from all that was 
dear to me, and that for a trifling offence. Since then I have been 
treated more like a beast than a man, until nature could bear no 
more. I was, like many others, driven to despair by the oppressive 
and tyrannical conduct of whose whose duty it was to prevent us from 
being treated in this way. Yet these men are courted by society ; and 
the British Government, deceived by the interested representations of 
these men, continues to carry on a system that has and still continues 
to ruin the prospects of the souls and bodies of thousands of British 
subjects. I have not the ability to represent what I feel on this subject, 
yet I know from my own feelings that it will never carry out the wishes 
of the British people ! The spirit of the British law is reformation. 
Now, years of sad experience should have told them, that instead of 
reforming the wretched man, under the present system, led by 
example on the one hand, and driven by despair and tyranny on the 
other, goes on from bad to worse, till at length he is ruined body and 
soul. Experience, dear bought experience, has taught me this. In all 
my career, I never was cruel I always felt keenly for the miseries of 
my fellow-creatures, and was ever ready to do all in my power to 
assist them to the utmost, yet my name will be handed down to 
posterity* branded with the most opprobrious epithet that man can 
bestow. But 'tis little matter now. I have thus given vent to my 
feelings, knowing that you will bear with me, and I know that you 
have and will exert yourself for the welfare of wretched men. It is on 
this account that I have strove, though in but a feeble manner, to 
express my feelings. The crime for which I am to suffer is murder. 
Reverend Sir, you will shudder at my cruelty, but I only took 
life those that I deprived of life, though they did not in a 
moment send a man to his last account, inflicted on many 
a lingering death for years they have tortured men's minds as 
well as their bodies, and after years of mental and bodily torture, sent 
them to a premature grave. This is what I call refined cruelty, and it 
is carried on, and I blush to own it, by Englishmen, and under the 
enlightened English Government. Will it be believed hereafter, that 
this was allowed to be carried on in the nineteenth century ? I will 

* " Posperity " in the paper is so obviously a typographical error that 
I have taken the liberty of correcting it. 


now proceed to inform you what has happened since I left Port Arthur. 
I was sent to Glenorchy Probation Station. I was then determined, if 
possible, to regain my freedom, and visit my dear native country, and 
see my parents and friends again. I took to the bush, with two men ; one 
of them said that he knew the bush well, but he deceived me and 
himself too. Our intention was to take a craft from Brown's River ; 
we were disappointed there was no craft there. We then turned to 
go to Launceston, thinking to get one there, and to cross to the Sydney 
main. But after leaving New Norfolk, I lost one of my mates, and 
the same night the other left me at the Green Ponds. I was soon after 
taken and sent to Hobart Town. I was tried and sent to Norfolk 
Island, and this place is now worse than I can describe. Every species 
of petty tyranny that long experience has taught some of these tyrants 
is put in force by the authorities. The men are half-starved, hard 
worked, and cruelly flogged. These things brought on the affair of the 
first of July, of which you have, no doubt, heard. I would send you the 
whole account, but that I know you will have it from better 
hands than mine. I am sorry that this will give you great pain, 
as there are several of the men that have been under your charge at 
Port Arthur concerned in this affair. Sir, on the 2ist of September, 
1846, Mr. Brown arrived in the Island with a commission to form a 
Court, and try the men. On the 23rd of September he opened the Court. 
Fourteen men were then arraigned for the murder of John Morris, that 
was formerly gate-keeper at Port Arthur. This trial occupied the Court 
nine days. The Jury retired, and returned a verdict, and found twelve 
out of fourteen guilty of murder. On the 5th of October the sentence 
of death was then passed on us, and to be carried into effect on the 
1 3th of October, 1846. Sir, the strong ties of earth will soon be 
wrenched, and the burning fever of this life will soon be quenched, and 
my grave will be a haven a resting-place for me, William Westwood. 
Sir, out of the bitter cup of misery I have drunk from my sixteenth year 
ten long years and the sweetest draught is that which takes away 
the misery of living death ; it is the friend that deceives no man ; all will 
then be quiet no tyrant will there disturb my repose, I hope, William 

Sir, I now bid the world adieu, and all it contains. 

WILLIAM WESTWOOD, his writing. 
Beneath the letter is printed as follows : 

The Dying Declaration of William West-wood, 
alias " Jockey Jockey." 

" I, William Westwood, wish to die in the Communion of Christ's 
Holy Church, seeking mercy of God through Jesus Christ our Lord and 
Saviour. Amen. 

I wish to say, as a dying man, that I believe four men now going 
to suffer are innocent of the crime laid to their charge, viz. : Lawrence 
Kavanagh, Henry Whiting, William Pickthorne, and William Scrimshaw. 
I declare that I never spoke to Kavanagh on the morning of the riots ; 
and these other three men had no part in the killing of John Morris as 


far as I know of. I have never spoke a disrespectful word of any man 
since my confinement. I die in charity with all men, and now I ask 
your prayers for my soul ! 

WILLIAM WESTWOOD, aged twenty-six years. 

Jackey Jackey, at the time of his death, was twenty-six 
years of age. He was 5 feet 9 inches in height, with fair 
hair, blue eyes, and a ruddy complexion. 

Shortly after the death of these men, Mr. John Price, 
superintendent of Port Arthur, was sent to Norfolk Island 
with instructions to break up the settlement and remove the 
prisoners to Van Diemen's Land, and this was gradually 
effected. Two or three years later the Government of the 
Island was again transferred to the Governor of New South 
Wales, and in 1857, about two hundred of the Pitcairn 
Islanders the descendants of the Mutineers of the Bounty 
were landed there and have remained unmolested to the 
present time, and the later history of this beautiful island 
may be summed up in the one word " peace." 


The Third Epoch of Bushranging ; the Gold Digging Era ; Influx of 
Convicts from Van Diemen's Land ; Passing of the Criminals' 
Influx Prevention Act ; Attitude of the Diggers Towards the 
Bushrangers, and Other Thieves ; The Nelson Gold Robbery ; 
Some Pitiful Stories ; A Rapid Raid ; Insecurity of the Melbourne 

BEFORE entering upon the next stage in the story of the 
bushrangers, it may be advisable to say something of the 
vast change which suddenly took place in the conditions 
in Australia about this time. In 1842-3 the colony of New 
South Wales was plunged into a financial crisis, about 
which it is unnecessary to say much here, but from which 
the colony was only beginning to recover in 1851. Wages 
were still very low, and numbers of men were out of work. 
In April, 1851, the news that gold had been discovered at 
Summerhill Creek, in the Bathurst district, roused some- 
thing like a ferment in the colony. Men employed in 
Sydney threw down their tools to "go to the diggings." 
There was a general exodus from the coast cities and towns 
to the ranges, then considered far away in the interior. 
Wages jumped from about one shilling per day for labour to 
ten or more, meat rose from one penny per pound, for the 
best cuts, to sixpence. The roads leading to Orange, the 
Turon, and other early goldfields in New South Wales, were 
thronged by men, either going to the diggings to seek their 
fortune, or returning disappointed. In July, 1851, the 
Port Phillip district of New South Wales was erected into 
the independent colony of Victoria, and in August the news 
that gold had been struck in the Ballarat district of the 
newly-established colony turned the tide of gold-seekers in 
that direction. The police establishment, with which the 


new colony started, was merely that of an outlying district 
of a huge sparsely-populated colony, and was wholly 
inadequate to the requirements. 

There were two gaols in the colony ; one at Melbourne, 
the other at Geelong ; neither of them very large. The 
Geelong gaol, in fact, was little more than a lock-up, and it 
was only within the past two years that the gaol had been 
enclosed within a high wall. In 1850 it stood out on the 
hill, a short distance from the banks of the Barwon River, 
an ordinary-looking brick building, with the Governor's 
House and other offices grouped near it, and all opening out 
directly on the level flat which stretched from the top of the 
banks of the Barwon River to the hill on which the main 
portion of the town of Geelong was situated. On the top of 
this hill, the last building in that direction, in " old 
Geelong " as it was called, although it had only been 
founded about twelve years before was the court house, 
and there was no other building along Yarra Street, on 
the southern side of the hill and across the little flat (a 
distance altogether of about half-a-mile) until the gaol was 
reached. The Melbourne gaol stood on what was then the 
boundary of the city of Melbourne. It was a larger and 
more imposing building than the Geelong gaol, but still 
wholly inadequate for the requirements ; and therefore one 
of the first duties of the Legislative Council of the new 
colony was to provide accommodation for evil doers, who 
could no longer be sent to the gaols of Sydney to serve out 
their terms of punishment. This was done by the establish- 
ment of " stockades " at Collingwood and Pentridge, both 
near Melbourne, and the purchase of two old trading vessels, 
the President and the Success, in September, 1852, to be 
converted into convict hulks for the safe keeping of the 
more desperate of the malefactors. Subsequently three 
other hulks were added to the list, and these were in use for 
many years after large prisons had been erected at Melbourne, 
Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, and other centres of population. 

Looking back from the present time it appears to me that 
the Colonial Office was guilty of a serious tactical blunder 
in appointing Mr. Charles Joseph Latrobe, as the first 
Governor of Victoria. He had been appointed Resident 
Magistrate, or Superintendent, of the Port Phillip District in 


1839; and, during the agitation for the separation of that 
district from the huge colony of which it was a part, Mr. 
Latrobe, very naturally perhaps, did all that he could to 
prevent the inhabitants from gaining their end. As a con- 
sequence, he was perhaps the best hated man that has ever 
lived in Australia. He was usually called "the Governor's 
poodle," and was denounced in no measured terms by the 
advocates of separation. When that was carried, and Mr. 
Latrobe became Lieutenant Governor, his harsh treatment 
of the diggers nearly drove them into rebellion. This is not 
the place to give the history of the Ballarat riot, but some 
reference to it is necessary. A most exorbitant licence fee 
was imposed on all residents on proclaimed gold-fields, and 
this tax was collected in a most arbitrary and brutal manner. 
There were no gaols nor lock-ups on the diggings at the time, 
and men arrested for all sorts of offences murder, bush- 
ranging, stealing, or the non-payment of licence fees were 
simply fastened with hand-cuffs to a bullock chain attached 
to a tree stump by a huge staple. Later some boxes, made 
of corrugated iron, were put up as cells and these were 
known as "the Dutch ovens," or "the sardine boxes," and 
prisoners confined in them on hot summer nights suffered 
tortures, and begged to be put " on the chain " as a relief. 
Mr. Latrobe, therefore, soon came to be as cordially hated by 
the new comers as he had been by the older inhabitants of 
the district. But whatever may be said as to the harshness 
of his treatment of the gold diggers, the efforts he made to 
check the lawlessness rampant in the colony cannot be too 
highly commended. He and the Legislative Council organ- 
ised a fine body of police in a very short time. The horse 
police were as well-disciplined and mounted as any similar 
body in any part of the world, but allowing for their 
efficiency, it would have been impossible for them to repress 
lawlessness so rapidly and completely as they did, had they 
not been assisted by the attitude of the general public. I 
may be wrong perhaps, but it has always appeared to me 
that the antagonism between the free and the convict 
elements in the population of which I have already spoken 
was continued long after the abolition of the convict system, 
and even passed on to these who landed in the country 
during the rush to the diggings. There was a general 


tendency at the time to credit all sorts of misdeeds to the 
convicts. No doubt, among the enormous crowds which 
landed in Victoria in the early years of the rush to the 
diggings, there was a fair admixture of rough and reckless 
characters who were not convicts, but it was the custom to 
assume that all crimes were committed by the " old hands," 
and that any man arrested for any criminal offence had 
been " sent out." Thus, when Mr. Lachlan M'Lachlan was 
appointed police magistrate of Bendigo, he merely expressed 
openly the opinion held by other magistrates, and the 
public generally, when he declared that nearly all thefts 
were perpetrated by "old hands." He asserted that he 
could distinguish a convict from a free man at a glance. 
He would order the police to make the prisoner walk down 
the court, and would exclaim : " Turn him round again, 
sergeant. Ah ! I thought so ! I can see the marks of the 
irons on his legs."* By which he meant that the man had 
acquired a sort of limp through wearing irons, and that he 
could detect it. All such men were sent to gaol for six or 
twelve months, not so much for the crime or offence with 
which they stood charged, as because they were ex-convicts. 
And generally the public endorsed this apparent injustice. 
" It's a pity we ain't got more magistrates like 
Bendigo Mac," was an expression frequently heard in 
all parts of the colony. It is not impossible that the 
fashion of crediting all crimes and offences to convicts, 
however unjust it may have been, tended to prevent 
others from committing crimes. Whether this was so or 
not, it is certain that the diggers, rough and careless as the 
majority of them were, steadily set their faces, as a class, 
against crime, and never hesitated, even during the height 

* "Mr. Lachlan McLachlan, or 'Bendigo Mac,' as he was more 
familiarly styled, administered the law with a vigour and severity which 
brought upon him censure from many quarters . . . but ' desperate 
evils require desperate remedies.' . . . When an old hand happened 
to be among the prisoners, he would be terrified by the fierce reprobation of 
1 Bendigo Mac,' or by the glare which shot from that inevitable eyeglass. 
. . . At other times he would lay to a prisoner, ' This district is not 
big enough for both you and me. One of us must leave which shall it 
be ?' The prisoner would feel, of course, that there was very little doubt 
about the matter, and would promise to make himself scarce, requesting 
probably a couple of days' grace to wash up a bit of washdirt." " History 
ot Bendigo," by George Mackay, chap. Hi, 


of their dispute with the authorities, to hand over to the 
police any person detected in stealing. Probably they were 
forced into this attitude in self-defence. The diggings were 
merely huge camps, everybody living in tents or " houses " 
made of wooden rafters and uprights, covered with calico or 
canvas. Even the big hotels and theatres were calico 
structures. It was so easy for an evil-disposed person to rip 
open a tent and thrust his hand under the pillow or into 
any other place where he thought gold might be concealed. 
But such thefts, although numerous, constituted only a 
minority of the crimes committed on the goldfields. All 
round were holes twenty or thirty feet deep, and the paths 
from one part of the field to another wound in and out 
between these holes, so that it was dangerous for a stranger 
in the locality to travel about after dark. In such a place it 
was so easy to stab a man and throw his body down a hole 
that the very facilities offered operated as a temptation to 
murder. Scarcely a day passed without a body being found 
murdered and rifled, and thus a peculiar sort of morality 
was developed on the diggings, and the diggers, while 
resisting the police, jeering at them and showing their 
hatred of them in every possible way, still assisted them in 
capturing thieves and other criminals. It was the custom 
to call public meetings for political and other purposes, 
by sending men to all the various camps each carrying a 
tin dish. These heralds would beat their tin dishes and yell, 
" Roll up ! roll up ! " Frequently a " roll up " was called 
for the purpose of organising a party to hunt down thieves 
or other evil-doers, and very soon the " roll up " carried 
terror through the ranks of tent thieves and other robbers. 
Sometimes the delinquent when caught was cuffed and 
beaten and ordered off the diggings on pain of death, but, 
as a rule, he was marched to the police camp, popularly 
known as " The Camp," and handed over for trial It was 
perhaps because of this attitude of the diggers, that " Lynch 
law " did not become an institution in Victoria, as it had in 
California. On more than one occasion, it was proposed 
that thieves, robbers, and murderers should be summarily 
dealt with by their captors, but such resolutions were not 
endorsed at the "rolls up"; although, on more than one 
occasion, it was said that if the Government could not 


protect the diggers from bushrangers, the diggers would 
have to protect themselves. Some of the old names, now 
rapidly disappearing, record the character which the neigh- 
bourhood once bore. Thus "Murderer's Flat," the old 
name of a portion of the Mount Alexander Goldfield, is 
almost forgotten. The flat is now a portion of the pretty 
little mining and agricultural town of Castlemaine. It was 
the custom here in the " roaring fifties," for the diggers to 
fire off their guns and pistols every night after sundown, and 
ostentatiously reload them, as a caution that any person 
seen prowling round the tents during the night would be 
shot without further notice. In many of the outlying gullies 
on the Bendigo and Ballarat Goldfields the same ceremony 
was performed nightly. Beyond the limits of the goldfields the 
roads were infested by footpads and bushrangers, who hated 
the diggers for their antagonism to their class. To these the 
digger was fair game. It was popularly supposed that these 
bushrangers were all convicts from " Van Diemen's Land," 
hence they were known as "Van Demonians," "Derwenters" 
from the River Derwent, and "Tother siders." The 
newspapers were full of references to their doings. The 
Geelong Advertiser of June 2nd, 1851, warned the public 
that " large numbers of men half bushranger, half gold- 
seeker are travelling along the roads, especially the 
Sydney road, robbing all who are unprotected." These 
were said to be Van Demonians who had landed in 
Geelong or Melbourne, and who were making their way 
to the goldfields of New South Wales. In the same month 
the Melbourne Herald published several articles calling the 
attention of the authorities to the large "influx of Van 
Diemen's Land expirees who are thronging into Port 
Phillip." These " villains," it was said, were travelling 
along all the roads which led to the diggings on the Sydney 
side, and lived by plundering honest travellers. On June 
23rd the mail coach was bailed up at Bruce's Creek, 
between Portland and Geelong. The coach, with three 
passengers on board, was going down the hill to the 
crossing-place, when two men stepped from behind gum 
trees, presented their pistols, and cried " Bail up." The 
driver, William Freere, instead of complying, began to flog 
his horses, but before they could respond their heads were 


seized by one of the bushrangers, while the other put his 
pistol to Freere's head, and threatened to blow his brains 
out. The coach was taken some distance off the road, and 
its occupants were tied to trees. The robbers went very 
leisurely through the letters, and when all that was of value 
had been abstracted one of the bushrangers took a saddle 
and bridle belonging to one of the passengers (Mr. Thomas 
Gibson) and set it aside with the remark, "Ah, this is 
just what I wanted." This bushranger was dressed " in 
a black suit of fashionable cut, and wore black kid 
gloves." He was afterwards identified as Owen 
Suffolk, while his companion was Christopher Farrell. 
Suffolk took one of the coach-horses, put the saddle and 
bridle on, and mounted. Farrell jumped on the other 
horse barebacked. The tied men begged hard to be let 
loose, offering to swear that they would not give information 
to the police, or move from the spot until their captors were 
away, but their supplications were only laughed at. The 
road was at that time but little frequented, and the next 
mail, which might possibly be the first vehicle to pass, would 
not come for a week. Moreover, they were out of sight 
of the road. The struggle to get free was therefore a 
struggle for life, and it was a severe one. Mr. Gibson was 
the first to get one hand loose. After this the rest was 
comparatively easy. In less than an hour they were all 
free, and they walked straight to the township at Bruce's 
Creek to tell the police. The robbers were caught in 
Geelong a day or two later. Suffolk was strolling along the 
beach near the wharf, and Farrell was found in a boarding- 
house not far away. They were sentenced to ten years' 
penal servitude, the first three in irons. 

James Mason and John Brown, two diggers, were sitting 
at their camp at Bendigo having supper, when a man 
named William Scott passed along, going towards the 
"township." They invited him to "sit down and have 
a feed," as he looked tired, and he did so. But while 
eating he slipped his hand under the edge of the tent and 
took out a bag containing no ounces of gold. The gold 
was missed before he was out of sight, and he was followed 
immediately and captured. He was taken to " the camp,'' 
and subsequently sent to gaol for five years. 


On January 28, 1852, the Melbourne Herald reported 
that " a gang of Vandemonians have kept the road between 
Bendigo and Eaglehawk Gully for three days, robbing 
all who passed." The police were sent out and the 
gang was broken up. One was shot and three others 
traced to Halliday's Inn at Kyneton, where they were 
captured. They had thirty-three pounds weight of gold 
in their possession, and were taken on to Melbourne 
for trial. 

Such reports were so frequent that the Legislative 
Council was compelled to take action, and as a consequence 
the Act known as the Criminals' Influx Prevention Act (18 
Vic., No. 3) was passed in November. This Act was 
specially designed to keep ex-convicts out of the colony. 
It was impossible to prevent those from New South Wales 
from crossing the Murray River, but it no doubt checked the 
influx of the more desperate criminals from Van Diemen's 
Land, where transportation was continued for many years 
after it had ceased to New South Wales. But although the 
Act prevented ex-convicts from landing at Victorian ports 
it could not prevent them landing at Sydney or Adelaide 
and walking overland to the Victorian diggings. In spite 
of this, however, the Act was undoubtedly very efficacious 
in checking the landing of criminally-minded persons. There 
were, however, so many in the colony previously to the 
passing of the Act that the police had plenty of employ- 
ment in hunting them down. 

On February 6th, Corporal Harvey, of the mounted 
police, was searching some boxes at the Police Barracks, 
Buninyong, to ascertain whether they contained gold. A 
man named Goldman threatened to shoot him if he touched 
his box. The trooper simply replied " I must do my duty," 
and opened the box. Goldman shot him at once. This 
crime was a purposeless one. The trooper had been ordered 
to remove gold from all boxes left at the station so that it 
might be sent down to Geelong by escort. The only excuse 
which can be made for Goldman is that the diggers were 
very sensitive where their gold was concerned and were also 
very ready to protect it even at the risk of murder. But the 
boxes were left there in charge of the police, and any man 
who objected to his box being searched had no right to take 


it there. However, Goldman was convicted of murder and 

On February 23rd, Elliott Aitchison, a squatter, was 
robbed near Buninyong. The robber took horse, saddle, 
bridle, saddle-bags, watch, a bill of exchange for ^30, and 
some money. The bushranger was identified as a man 
named Edward Melville, who had been working for a 
neighbouring squatter, Mr. Winter, of Winter's Flat, and was 
well known in the district. A reward of ^30 was offered 
for his apprehension. 

The ship Nelson arrived at Geelong from London in 
March, 1852, where she landed her passengers and cargo 
and took on board some cargo for her return voyage. She 
was then taken round to Hobson's Bay to fill up. On the 
night of April ist she was lying off Liardet's Beach, near 
where the South Melbourne pier now stands. There were 
on board Mr. Draper, the mate in charge, Mr. Davis, second 
officer of the Royal George lying at anchor near, three 
seamen, three passengers, and the cook. At about two a.m. 
they were roused by loud calls, and as each one came out of 
his cabin to ascertain what the row was about he was seized 
and lashed to the bulwarks. When all had been secured 
the robber who appeared to be leader untied Mr. Draper 
and ordered him to show where the gold was. The mate 
refused. The robber fired and wounded him in the side. 
He then threatened to shoot him dead next time he refused. 
Another of the gang prodded Mr. Draper behind with a 
sword, and, realising that resistance was useless, he led the 
way to the lazarette. The door was soon broken down, and 
twenty-three boxes containing 8183 oz. of gold, valued at 
about ^25,000, were taken out and carried on deck. " I 

say, mates," exclaimed the leader, " this is the best 

diggings we've seen yet." The boxes were lowered over 
the vessel's side into boats, and then the men tied to 
the bulwarks were unloosed, their hands tied behind them, 
and they were marched into the lazarette. The entrance 
was closed up with the broken boards nailed across. When 
the stevedore and his men arrived some hours later to go 
on with their work the prisoners in the lazarette were 
released, and information was given to the police. The 
robbers were said to have numbered about twenty. A 


search proved that two of Mr. Liardet's boats had been 
removed from their moorings. They were found far away 
along the beach, and it was conjectured that these boats 
had been used by the robbers. A reward was offered by 
the Government of ^250 for the capture and conviction of 
the robbers, and this was supplemented by a further reward 
of ^500 offered by Messrs. Jackson, Rae & Co., the 
consigners of the gold. Within a few days John James, 
alias Johnston, was arrested in Melbourne, and shortly 
afterwards James Morgan and James Duncan were found at 
the Ocean Child Inn, Williamstown. They were in bed, 
and when the police entered the room Morgan exclaimed : 
"If we'd known you was traps we'd a' blown your 

- brains out." When taken to the lock-up he said : 
"We may be sentenced, but we'll live to dance on your 

grave, and have 2000 a nob to ride in our carriages." 

At the trial it was said that they had been concerned in 
several highway robberies on the Keilor Plains and in the 
Black Forest, but these cases were not gone into. They 
were convicted of having stolen the gold from the Nelson, 
and sentenced to fifteen years' hard labour, the first three in 

The winter of 1852 was an exceptionally severe one, and 
snow fell heavily in the ranges. A bullock driver who was 
looking for his bullocks near Buninyong was bailed up by 
three armed men. Although it was snowing at the time 
they stripped him and tied him to a tree while they searched 
his clothes. Finding only about five shillings in his pockets 
they cast him loose, gave him his clothes and money, with 

the remark that they thought he " was a digger from 

Ballarat." A few miles further along the road they met a 
party of real diggers and took from them 8 oz. of gold 
and an escort receipt for 84 oz. more. 

Such robberies as these were reported daily on the roads 
round Ballarat, Bendigo, and Mount Alexander. Perhaps 
the worst places were the Stoney Rises, on the road from 
Geelong to Ballarat, and the Black Forest, between Mel- 
bourne and Mount Alexander. But the conditions even in 
Melbourne were not much better than elsewhere. On 
August 6, 1 85 2, a digger who had just returned from Bendigo 
was knocked down in Little Collins Street, Melbourne, and 


the pocket of his trousers cut out He, however, lost only 
a few shillings, while the robbers missed 3lb. weight of gold 
which he held clutched in his hand. 

Judge Barry and Mr. Wrixon, the barrister, left the 
Supreme Court House together on August n, at about half- 
past eight p.m. When they were near St. Francis' R. C. 
Church, Lonsdale Street, they heard a shout for help. 
Ploughing through the deep mud they stampeded three 
robbers who had got a man down in the gutter. At that 
time the streets of Melbourne were not paved as they are 
now and the judge and the barrister nearly got bogged while 
pulling the digger out of the mud hole in which he was 
nearly smothered. The robbers escaped, but the digger 
found his gold safe. 

Mr. John Scraggs was going home to his house in 
Richmond one evening. When passing a corner near his 
own residence he received a blow on the head and fell 
stunned. When he recovered consciousness his watch, 
chain, ring, and purse had disappeared. The next day he 
purchased a revolver, loaded it carefully, and carried it in 
his hand ready for use as he went home. He was specially 
vigilant when he approached the corner where he had been 
knocked down before. Probably he was rather too vigilant 
on one side. However that may be, he received a blow on 
the other side which "stretched" him again. That time 
the robbers only got a revolver, and Mr. Scraggs swore that 
they should get no more firearms from him. 

It was about this time that the Melbourne Herald 
reported a case of a captain of a vessel lying in Hobson's 
Bay. The captain had been to the theatre and was 
walking to Liardet's Beach to get a boat to take him 
on board his ship, when he was knocked down in 
Flinders Street and dragged into a right-of-way. Here he 
was stripped stark naked and left insensible. It was early 
morning when he regained his senses. After some hesitation 
he walked towards an hotel, hoping to be able to borrow 
some clothes there, but he was pounced on by a vigilant 
policeman and taken off to the lock-up. His story was not 
believed and he was taken into court and charged with 
"indecent behaviour," which was adding insult to injury, 
and the magistrate remanded him till next morning, to 


allow enquiries to be made, bail being refused. Later 
on, when it was ascertained that he really was the captain 
of a vessel, he was discharged. The Herald cited this 
as an instance of the vagaries of police magistrates, and 
charged the police with being unable to protect the public 
against robbers. 

But to return to the knights of the road. A pitiful story 
was told of an old man and his son who had left their work 
in Melbourne, and gone to the diggings to "make their pile." 
They were unsuccessful, like a good many more, and 
started to walk back to Melbourne, to return to their 
ordinary work. They were bailed up on the edge of the 
Black Forest. The bushrangers refused to believe that they 
had no gold. It was a stale trick, they said, to throw a bag 
of gold behind a log and swear they hadn't got any, and 
then go back and pick it up, when the bushrangers had gone 
away. It was in vain that the old man swore that he had 
had no gold to throw away. One of the bushrangers com- 
pelled him to hold out his hand and fired a bullet through 
the palm. As he continued to declare he had no gold the 
bushranger was about to shoot through the palm of the 
other hand, when the boy made a rush at him and 
was shot dead by the other bushranger. The old 
man was then allowed to go on his sorrowful way. 
Bushranging was the common subject of conversation. 
Little else was talked of, and even the children played 
bushranger. Two young lads, who were old enough to 
know better, thought it would be good fun to " stick up " 
their father. He was a farmer living on the Barrabool 
Hills, about eight or nine miles from Geelong. He went 
into town with some produce and was returning at nightfall 
when, at about half a-mile from his own gateway, he was 
ordered to " bail up " by two persons on horseback. With- 
out hesitation he snatched up a gun from the bottom of the 
dray and fired. One of the bushrangers fell and the 
other cried out " Oh, father, you've shot Johnny ! We 
were only in fun." It was too late. The father's aim 
had been too sure and the boy was taken home to his 
mother dead. 

On October 24th, 1852, Henry Johnston, John Finegan, 
John Donovan, Charles Bowe, and John Baylie, known as 



the Eureka gang, were tried for highway robbery in 
Melbourne. William Cook said he was riding from 
Melbourne to Bendigo, on August 4th, when near 
Aitken's Gap he was bailed up by Finegan and Donovan. 
Three other men sat on their horses some distance away 
along the road, but did not interfere. One of the bush- 
rangers held a pistol to his head, while the other stripped 
him naked and searched his clothes. He also felt him all 
over, under the armpits and elsewhere. They took 2 143. 
and a pistol from him. Finegan wanted to take everything, 
but Donovan would not agree to that, but gave him back 
his clothes. Then he returned one of the ^i notes and 
the fourteen shillings in silver. Wesley Anderson identified 
Baylie and Donovan as the two men who had robbed him 
on a Sunday in August, near Buninyong. The proceedings 
were very similar to those in the first case. All the 
other prisoners were identified in a similar way by other 
witnesses. The robberies were effected over a wide range 
of country, and were all of a similar character. When 
asked what they had to say in defence, one of the prisoners 
asked the Judge whether he thought they were crows ? 
" Here's one man," he continued, " says we stuck him up 
at Aitken's Gap, another at the Porcupine, another near 
Mount Egerton, and others at other places, and the police 
says they caught us in the Crown Hotel, Buninyong. 
Why, your Honour, horses couldn't get over the ground in 
the time." The jury, however, seemed to have formed a 
better opinion of the power of the bushrangers' horses than 
the bushranger himself. Perhaps this was due to the fact 
that some of them at least had exchanged horses with their 
victims. However that may be, they were all found guilty. 
Finegan and Donovan, who appeared to have been the 
leaders, and to have taken part in the majority of the 
robberies, were sent to gaol for twelve years, and the others 
for six years each. 

The Geelong mail was stuck up in December, 1852, 
between the old Burial Ground and the Flagstaff Hill, now 
in the very heart of Melbourne. The robbers took watches, 
rings, and money from the passengers, but did not dismount 
from their horses nor interfere with the mail bags. Probably 
it was too close to the city. 


On December 26th two diggers returning to Melbourne 
were robbed near Keilor by three armed men on horseback, 
who took a large parcel of gold dust and an escort receipt 
for more. On the same day a man was brutally beaten on 
the Sydney road, about fifteen miles from Melbourne, and 
robbed of his watch, some gold specimens and nuggets, and 
his money. 


Captain Melville Takes to the Road ; He Ties and Robs Eighteen 
Men ; He Goes to Geelong for a Spree, and Boasts of His 
Exploits ; His Sensational Capture ; Sent to the Hulks ; Murder 
of Corporal Owens ; Melville Removed from the Hulk Success 
to the Gaol ; Murder of Mr. John Price and Mutiny of the 
Convicts ; Melville Attacks Mr. Wintle ; Death of the Noted 

OF all the bushrangers of the " roaring fifties " none was 
more talked of than Frank McCallum, alias Captain 
Melville. Every now and then, during the latter half of 
the year 1852, stories were told of daring robberies com- 
mitted by Captain Melville, and rewards were offered for 
the capture of the captain, dead or alive, or any person 
who aided and abetted him. On December i8th, 1852, 
he rode up to a sheep station near Wardy Yallock and 
asked Mr. Wilson, the overseer, who was the owner ? " Mr. 
Aitcheson," was the reply. " Is he at home ? " asked 
Melville ; and on being answered in the affirmative he 
expressed a wish to see him. Mr. Wilson having no 
suspicion as to who the civilly spoken visitor was went 
into the house and returned with Mr. Aitcheson. Melville 
drew out a pistol, pointed it towards them, and ordered them 
to " put up " their hands. The two gentlemen complied at 
once and were marched to the wool shed. Here they found 
the sixteen shearers and other workmen sitting in a row 
down the middle of the shearing floor and William Roberts, 
Melville's mate, standing sentry over them pistol in hand. 
Aitcheson and Wilson were conducted to the head of the 
row and ordered to seat themselves, which they did. 
Melville then searched about until he found a rope. This 
he cut into lengths and then mounted guard while Roberts 
called the prisoners out one by one and tied them to the 


fence. Mr. Aitcheson asked Melville what he wanted ? 
and the bushranger replied, " Gold and horses, and we're 
going to get them." When all the men were securely tied 
the bushrangers cautioned them not to attempt to get loose 
until permission was given, and then walked to the house. 
Melville told Mrs. Aitcheson not to be afraid, as he never 
interfered with ladies any more than was necessary. He 
told all the women and girls to go into one room. One of 
the women was told to get some food ready, and part of this 
was taken, with two bottles of brandy, to the men at the 
shed. Melville and Roberts both ate heartily. They 
searched the house thoroughly, and took all the money and 
jewellery they could find. They picked out two fine horses 
with saddles and bridles, and when mounted they stopped 
at the wool-shed to bid good-bye to Mr. Aitcheson and their 
" other friends," and to inform them that Mrs. Aitcheson 
would come and untie them as soon as he and his mate 
were out of sight along the road. 

The boldness with which this robbery was conceived 
and carried out caused quite an excitement throughout the 
colony. The idea of eighteen men permitting two to 
tie and rob them without a struggle caused as much amuse- 
ment perhaps as wonder. People talked of little else for 
days, and everywhere the question was asked, " What 
next ? " This, however, was not all. After leaving the 
station the bushrangers only travelled a few miles and 
camped in the bush. The following morning they stuck up 
two diggers, Thomas Wearne and William Madden, on the 
Ballarat Road, and robbed them of ^33. After taking the 
money, Melville asked them where they were going. " To 
Geelong to see our friends, and spend Christmas. But now 
we shall have to go back to the diggings," was the reply. 
Melville drew Roberts apart, and after a brief conversation he 
came back, handed the diggers a ;io note, and hoped that 
would be sufficient to enable them to enjoy their holidays. 
During the next few days the bushrangers stuck up and 
robbed a large number of travellers on the Ballarat Road, 
travelling themselves towards Geelong at the time. On the 
morning of the 24th, they stuck up and robbed a man near 
Fyan's Ford, about five miles from the town, and then rode 
straight into Geelong. They put up at an hotel in Corio 


Street, where they had dinner and saw that their horses were 
fed. Then they went to a house of ill-fame, a little off the 
street, and not far from the Corio Street lock-up. One of 
the women was sent to a public-house in Moorabool Street 
for some bottles of brandy, and the spree began. The 
liquor opened Melville's mouth, and he informed one of the 
women who he was, and boasted of his exploits. This 
woman told the others, and as there was a hundred pounds 
reward offered for " such information as would lead to his 
apprehension," the chance of making money was too good 
to be missed. One of the women put her arms round his 
neck and talked to him, while another slipped put by the 
back door and went to the police station to inform the 
police as to the character of their visitors. Somehow 
Melville became suspicious. He suddenly pushed the 
woman away, and called to Roberts to go and fetch the 
horses, swearing that he would leave the town at once. 
Roberts, however, was too drunk to heed him. He was asleep 
with his head resting on the table. Melville jumped up and 
shook him, but finding that he could not rouse him, 
resolved to go alone. He opened the front door and saw 
a woman with two policemen just entering the gate. 
Slamming the door to hurriedly, he rushed across 
the room, and seizing a chair, dashed it through 
the back window. Then, jumping clear through the 
opening thus made, he raced down the yard to the back 
fence and climbed over in time to meet another constable, 
who was hurrying up towards the back of the house. With- 
out a moment's hesitation Melville knocked the policeman 
down, and ran across a piece of vacant land. His first 
intention had, of course, been to go for his horse, but on 
reaching Corio Street after this enforced detour, he knew he 
would have to pass the lock-up to reach the stable where 
his horse was. This was too dangerous, and he took the 
opposite direction. 

On its western side Geelong proper that is, the older 
part of the town is separated from its western portion by a 
deep gulley, which in early times was closed up by a dam. 
The water thus penned back spread over a flat, and served 
to supply the first settlers with water. In 1852 the dam 
was still there, and formed the roadway which connected 


Geelong with Ashby, Kildare, and other suburbs. It was 
across this dam that all the traffic on that side of the town 
passed. At short distances away the Melbourne and 
Ballarat roads branched off, the one along the banks of the 
bay, and the other towards the Bellpost Hill. A few years 
later the dam was cut away, and a handsome iron bridge 
erected across the deep gulley, while the space formerly 
covered with water was converted into a park or garden. 

The dam was in a line with Malop Street, and Melville 
raced away across the vacant lots to that street, followed by 
several policemen. It was near sundown, and as Melville 
came to the dam Mr. Guy was returning from his afternoon 
ride. Mr. Guy was a young gentleman who had not been 
long in the colony. He was lodging at the Black Bull Inn, 
Malop Street, where the most extensive stables in the 
district were. The Black Bull was a great sporting house 
and there were always some race horses there, either in 
training or waiting for engagements ; and, as Mr. Guy was 
an excellent horseman, he frequently took one or other of 
these horses out for an airing. On this occasion he had 
been for a gallop across the plains to Cowey's Creek, and 
was walking his horse quietly back to allow him to get cool. 
When crossing the dam a man suddenly rushed up and 
seized him by the leg. He was lifted out of the saddle, and 
half fell, half jumped to the ground. He landed on his feet 
and rushed round the horse in time to collar the man who 
was trying to mount. The horse was a spirited animal and 
objected strongly to this summary change of riders, otherwise, 
perhaps, the bushranger would have got away. He reared 
and plunged and prevented the bushranger from mounting. 
Guy seized the bushranger, and received a heavy blow for 
his trouble, but he held on gamely, and in the struggle the 
horse broke away and galloped off to his stable. A moment 
later the police came up, and Melville was captured. Mr. 
Guy was highly complimented for his plucky fight with so 
redoubtable an opponent, but he usually replied that he 
wasn't going " to lose a horse in that manner if he could 
help it." Of course, he was intensely surprised when he was 
informed that he had captured the notorious bushranger, 
Captain Melville. Melville and Roberts were lodged in 
the " old gaol " in " South Geelong," and I remember going 


to see " the bushrangers " conveyed across the flat and up 
the hill to the court-house to stand their trial. They were 
seated in a dray, heavily ironed there was no "black 
Maria" in Geelong in those days and drawn by two 
horses. There were several armed policemen on the dray, 
and others marched before and behind. The court- 
house, of course, was crowded, and, as boys were not 
admitted, I was not present. 

It may perhaps be of interest to notice that at that time 
there were stocks outside the Geelong Court-house. They 
were converted into firewood about two years later when the 
foundations for the new and larger court-house were laid. 
I believe these were the last stocks seen in Victoria, the 
Melbourne ones having been destroyed some time before, 
when the court-house there was enlarged. 

Melville was convicted on three charges of highway 
robbery, and was sentenced to twelve years' penal servitude 
on one and to ten years each on two other charges, making 
in all thirty-two years. A number of other charges were 
withdrawn. Similar sentences were passed on Roberts, but 
they were made concurrent. Melville was taken by boat from 
Geelong to the hulk President in Hobson's Bay, " until the 
devilish spirit he had for so long a time exhibited appeared 
to be broken," to quote the Melbourne Herald. Rather 
more than a year later he was removed to the hulk Success 
" for milder treatment," and was permitted to go ashore to 
work in the Government stone quarry at Point Gellibrand. 
At that time Melville was engaged in translating the Bible 
into the language of the Australian aborigines, " in which he 
could converse fluently." For more than two years the 
public heard nothing of Captain Melville. On October 22nd, 
1856, a launch with fifty or sixty convicts on board 
was being towed from the hulks Success and Lysander 
to the landing-place near the quarry, when Mr. Jackson, 
the officer in charge, observed that the prisoners were 
crowding towards the bow of the launch. He shouted 
to them to go back and trim the launch. Some 
obeyed, but those nearest the bow seized the tow-rope and 
rapidly pulled the launch up to the stern of the boat which 
was towing it. Then the prisoners began jumping into the 
boat. Mr. Jackson was hurled into the water. Corporal 


Owen Owens' head was smashed, and he and John Turner, 
one of the rowers, were thrown overboard. The other 
rowers jumped, some on to the wharf, the others into 
the water. The convicts seized the oars and pulled rapidly 
down the bay, Captain Melville standing up in the boat, 
waving the hammer with which it was said Owens had been 
killed, and shouting "Adieu to Victoria!" The des- 
peradoes, however, were not to be allowed to escape so 
easily as they imagined. The guard on the hulk Lysander 
fired at them as they passed, and the water-police from 
Williamstown soon followed and overtook them. Being 
threatened with muskets at close range, and having no arms 
themselves, they surrendered and were towed back quietly 
to the Success. Nine of the conspirators were tried for 
mutiny, Melville at his own request being placed first at the 
bar alone. In the charge sheet he was described as Thomas 
Smith, alias Frank McCallum, alias Captain Melville, and 
was said to have been transported to Van Diemen's Land in 
1838. This contradicts the many rumours which gained 
currency about him during his bushranging career. That 
most generally received was that he had come to the colony 
in charge of an emigrant ship from England, and that he 
and his crew had deserted her and gone to the diggings, 
where, being unlucky, he had taken to bushranging. This 
report was frequently denied, but still it was extensively 
believed, especially in the Geelong district. After hearing 
the evidence, the jury were unable to agree on a verdict of 
murder in the first degree, as there was a doubt as to who 
struck the blow which killed Corporal Owens. The Judge 
ruled, however, that if, in an attempt to escape from lawful 
custody, any person is killed, all of those attempting to 
escape are guilty of murder. In consequence of this ruling 
Melville was found guilty and was sentenced to death. The 
other prisoners were acquitted. The sentence was after- 
wards commuted to imprisonment for life, and when 
Melville was informed of the "mercy" which had been 
extended to him, he remarked quietly, "Well, you'll be 
sorry for it." 

On March 26, 1857, Mr. John Price, Inspector General 
of Convicts in the Colony of Victoria, attended at the quarry 
near Williamstown to hear any petitions or complaints which 


the convicts might have to present. Convict James Kelly 
was the first called and he asked for a ticket-of-leave. Mr. 
Price replied that he was unable to accede to this request. 
As he walked away Kelly was heard by Captain Blatchford 
to mutter " Bloody tyrant, your race is nearly run." He 
appeared to be in a furious passion, but very little notice 
was taken of him at the time. Several of the prisoners 
pressed forward and began to crowd round Mr. Price, loudly 
complaining that they had not received the due amount of 
rations. Some exclaimed that they were being cheated. 
Mr. Price stepped back and said in a loud voice, so as to be 
heard above the din, that these complaints must be given in 
proper form, when full enquiries should be made. If the 
charges were true the abuses should be rectified, but if they 
were false or unfounded, those making them would be 
punished. Suddenly a rush was made. Kelly threw a heavy 
stone, shouting at the time, " Down with the bloody tyrant." 
The stone struck Mr. Price and he reeled. The convicts 
pressed forward shouting "Give it him, give it him," 
and a volley of stones was sent flying through the 
air. Captain Blatchford was struck several times and 
rushed off to summon the guard, which was stationed 
on the other side of the quarry tramway, behind a large heap 
of stones. A convict named Bryant was said to have struck 
Price with a heavy navvy's shovel. He then shouted 
"Come on. He's cooked. He wants no more." When 
Captain Blatchford returned with the guard the convicts had 
placed Price's body on a hand barrow, which they held up 
in their hands. The remainder stood round as if waiting 
for orders. The face of the murdered man was calm, even 
pleasant to look at, but the back of his head was terribly 
battered, and the heap of stones was covered with his blood 
and brains. The guards surrounded the convicts, who 
offered no resistance, and they were marched away to the 
wharf and taken on board the Success. Soon afterwards 
shouts of " The bloody tyrant's done for, hooray," and much 
cheering were heard on board of this vessel and on the 
Lysander. Fearing that a general mutiny of convicts might 
take place, the harbour defence vessel Victoria, with her 
guns shotted and the crew at their quarters, was laid along- 
side the Success ready to sink her if necessary. The 


convicts, however, were very quiet and allowed themselves 
to be conducted to their cells without opposition. Fifteen 
convicts were placed on trial for this murder, but each one 
exercised his full right of challenge, so that the panel was 
exhausted without a jury being secured. On the next day 
the Crown Prosecutor withdrew three prisoners and the 
jurors to whom they had objected were recalled. This 
manoeuvre was repeated until at length a jury was 
obtained to try three prisoners, Thomas Malony, Thomas 
Williams, and Henry Smith. They were found guilty 
and sentenced to death. On the day following Richard 
Jones, William Jones, John Williams, and James Kelly 
were placed at the bar, and after a lengthy consultation the 
jury returned a verdict of " Not guilty." This verdict was 
condemned in the strongest terms by the judge, the press, 
and the general public. The acquittal of Kelly, who was 
said to have led the assault and struck the first blow, caused 
general indignation. The remainder of the prisoners were 
charged in two batches, and they were all found guilty and 
sentenced to death. Their names were Francis Brannagan, 
Richard Bryant, William Brown, John Young, alias Lowe, 
James Anderson, Henry Smith, alias Brennan, Daniel 
Donovan, and John Chesley. The majority of them had 
been condemned to penal servitude for bushranging and 
robbery, and the last on the list was Chesley, who was 
executed on April 3oth, 1857. 

Melville had been removed from the hulks to the 
Melbourne gaol a short time before because it was believed 
that he had been planning a general mutiny, and now it 
was said that the murder of Mr. Price had been included in 
his scheme. During the first two or three months of his 
residence at " Wintle's Hotel," as the Melbourne gaol was 
facetiously called, Melville behaved very quietly, and was 
treated as an ordinary prisoner. On July 28th, 1857, he 
made a savage attack on Mr. Wintle, the Governor of the 
gaol, and was afterwards confined to his cell. Later it was 
reported that for weeks he would behave in the most 
exemplary manner, but would suddenly and unexpectedly 
break out into a paroxysm of fury, during which he would 
destroy everything destructible. At these times the warders 
and officers were ordered to keep away from his cell, and 


leave him to himself. He was placed under medical 
surveillance, with a view to ascertain whether he was sane 
or not, great care being taken, it was said, not to excite him. 
On August loth he was locked up as usual, and appeared 
to be in his normal condition as regards health and spirits, 
but, on his cell being opened next morning, he was found 
lying dead on the ground. A blue handkerchief with red 
spots, which he had brought with him from the hulks, was 
tied round his neck with a slip knot and twisted up tightly. 
Dr. McCrae was called in immediately, and said that death 
was due to strangulation. Life had been extinct some three 
or four hours. He was of the opinion that the prisoner had 
tied the knot himself. A verdict of felo de se was returned 
by the coroner's jury which heard the case. A variety of 
opinions were expressed as to this verdict. So far as is 
known, there is no evidence to prove that Melville came to 
his death in any other way than that stated at the inquest, 
but there were numbers of people who asserted their belief 
that the bushranger was strangled by the gaolers. As a rule 
these people did not blame the gaolers for this act. The 
opinion generally expressed was that Melville was little 
better than a wild beast, and was better dead than alive. 
They also asserted that it would have been more satisfac- 
tory if the bushranger had been hung openly instead of 
being murdered secretly, and they blamed the Governor and 
the Judge for having been so " soft-hearted " as to commute 
his sentence when he was condemned to the gallows. There 
appears, however, to be no evidence in support of this view. 
The records of the inquest are brief, but they seem clearly 
enough to prove that the most noted bushranger of the gold- 
digging era took his own life in one of the paroxysms to which 
he was liable. Whether these paroxysms were due to his harsh 
treatment on the hulks is another matter, but we are not in 
the " Fifties" now. The hulks have been destroyed or sold, 
and the prisoners are treated as humanely now in Australia 
as they are in any other civilised country. The treatment 
of the bushrangers all through the later developments of 
that crime tend to prove that the Australians considered 
bushranging as a sort of exotic introduced into the country 
with the convicts sent from England, and only to be wiped 
out by the suppression of the convict element in the 


population. We see the influence of this view in New 
South Wales, Van Diemen's Land, and elsewhere, as well as 
in Victoria. In this colony the appointment of Mr. John 
Price as Inspector General of convicts was an expression of 
the popular belief. Mr. Price had had a long experience 
among convicts, and the very fact that his treatment of 
them was harsh was a recommendation in his favour. He 
had been superintendent of the convict station of Port 
Arthur, where he was known to the convicts placed under 
his charge as " Bloody Tyrant Price." When that estab- 
lishment, of the character of which the late Marcus Clarke 
gives us an idea, but an idea only, in his story, " For the 
Term of his Natural Life," was broken up, in consequence 
of the cessation of transportations to Van Diemen's Land, 
in 1853, Mr. Price was specially chosen for the position he 
held in Victoria because of his knowledge, not merely of 
convict character, but of the personal appearance of a large 
number of the criminals who were disturbing the peace of 
the colony, because the majority of them had already been 
under his charge in Van Diemen's Land. The Victorians 
desired above all things to keep the convicts out of their 
colony, and as a means to this end they endeavoured to make 
their prisons a "holy terror" to this class of immigrant. 
When that object had been achieved, or the convict element 
in the population had died out by the effluxion of 
time, they modified their prison discipline in accord- 
ance with the growth of humanitarian ideas. Whether 
they have done all that is possible in this direction may 
be doubted, but this is not the place to discuss this 
question. The evidence so far as it has been collected 
and considered tends to show that the chief remedy for 
crime is education. It is impossible to believe that even 
the worst of the bushrangers would have grown up to be 
such scourges to society had they been properly cared for 
during the impressionable period of their lives, and many 
of them amid all their savagery show traces of qualities 
which might, under happier circumstances, have fitted them 
for useful positions in the world. It may be added here 
that Mr. John Price is popularly supposed to have been the 
prototype of " Maurice Freere" in Marcus Clarke's novel, 
which should be read by every student of Australian history. 


Murder of a Bullock-driver ; Sticking Up in the Melbourne Streets ; 
Stealing .100,000 in Bank Notes ; Want of Efficient Police 
Protection ; Murders and Robberies at Ballarat, Bendigo, Mount 
Alexander, and other Diggings ; The Robbery of the Mclvor 
Gold Escort ; A Bushranger Intimidated by a Bottle of Brandy ; 
Robbery of the Bank of Victoria at Ballarat ; Capture of Garrett in 
London ; Prevalence of Horse-stealing ; The Doctor's Creamy. 

THE arrest of Captain Melville, although it removed the 
central figure in this the third bushranging epoch in 
Australia, by no means put a stop to the crime. Melville 
had been a specialist, a true highwayman, while the others 
were merely general practitioners who were not very particular 
what crimes they committed so long as they secured booty. 
On January 24th, 1853, the driver of the mail coach from 
Colac to Geelong was ordered to bail up near Mr. Dennie's 
station. The driver kept on. One of the bushrangers 
reached out to grasp the reins, while the other fired at the 
driver. The report frightened the horse of the man who 
was trying to seize the reins, and it bolted, throwing the 
rider. The mail-man whipped his horses into a gallop and 
got safely away. 

Richard Bryant and William Mack walked into Mr. J. 
Jackson's store at Fryer's Creek, Mount Alexander, and 
ordered the storeman to bail up. They took all the money 
that was in the till, a quantity of gold dust, and a bundle of 
the most valuable articles they could find. They were 
arrested by Constable Bloomfield in a house in Melbourne 
and sentenced to twelve years' imprisonment. 

On May yth, a carrier named William Morgan left 
Melbourne with several passengers, each of whom had 
agreed to pay him 14 to carry his " swag " to the Mount 


Alexander diggings. Besides these swags Morgan had 
some goods for the conveyance of which to the diggings he 
was to receive ^29. The first day's journey was a short 
one, the party camping near the Lady of the Lake Inn. 
The passengers, who, it may be as well to explain, had to 
walk, had a tent with them which they took off the dray. 
They were erecting this when Morgan and the driver of 
another dray camped there, named Pilcock, walked to a 
blacksmith's shop near the hotel to get some small jobs 
done. Pilcock returned alone and informed the company 
that Morgan had walked on to " Tulip " Wright's to try and 
purchase an extra pair of bullocks to strengthen his team. 
The following morning Pilcock yoked up Morgan's team as 
well as his own, and asked one of the passengers to drive 
it, adding that Morgan would join them somewhere along 
the road. They were about to start when a little boy, 
travelling with his parents by another dray, ran up crying 
out that there was "a man's head sticking out of the 
ground." A rush to the place was made and the child's 
statement proved to be true. The body was dug up and 
identified as Morgan's. From the appearance of the 
ground about half-way between the camp and the black- 
smith's shop it was apparent that a fierce struggle had taken 
place. The ground was trampled and torn up as if with 
a wrestling match. A pool of blood was discovered with a 
track leading from it to where the body was found, showing 
that it had been dragged there. Some wonder was 
expressed that so severe a contest should have taken place 
without any sound having been heard at the camp, 
which was not more than a quarter of a mile away. 
But there were some fifty or sixty people at the camp, and 
some of these had been amusing themselves by singing, 
while others had been playing concertinas and other 
musical instruments. The noise thus made had no doubt 
drowned the noise of the deadly contest which was 
taking place so close at hand. Pilcock was arrested at 
once, and was subsequently convicted and hung. Had his 
project succeeded, he would have made quite a nice little 
haul with the money for the loading on the two drays. 

So prevalent was crime at this time, that even the streets 
of Melbourne were not safe. One afternoon, David Clegg 


and Henry Jones were driving home in a spring cart from 
Melbourne, to the huge encampment on Emerald Hill, 
known as Canvas Town. They had just crossed Prince's 
Bridge, over the Yarra Yarra, when they were ordered 
to bail up. Clegg caught up a double-barrelled gun from 
the bottom of the cart, but before he could make any use of 
it, it was snatched from his hands by one of the robbers, who 

cried out : " Stand aside till I blow his brains out." A 

second robber said : " Oh, let him go." While these two 
were disputing as to whether Clegg should be shot or not, a 
third robber struck the horse and started him off. During 
the next few days the Canvas Town mob, as it was called, 
committed several robberies in the neighbourhood of 
Prince's Bridge, and at length the police made an effort to 
protect travellers between Melbourne and Canvas Town 
(now known as South Melbourne). One day, Chief 
Constable Bloomfield and Mr. Farrell were walking together 
near the bridge, when Bloomfield exclaimed : " Hulloa ! 
there's a man I want for uttering a $ note." He crossed 

the street and said : " Well Hammond." " What the 

do you want?" asked Hammond. "Oh, you needn't be 
afraid, I won't hurt you," replied Bloomfield. " I don't care 
whether you do or not," cried Hammond, walking beside 
the policeman in bravado. Bloomfield delayed making the 
arrest in hopes that another constable would appear, until 
Hammond turned away, when he grabbed him. Farrell 
shouted, " Look out, Bloomfield," and the constable turned, 
but not quickly enough to avoid a blow aimed at him by 
another man. Bloomfield fell, but did not relax his grip on 
Hammond, and two other constables appearing at the time, 
t>oth Hammond and Edwards were secured. James 
Hammond and William Edwards were identified as the men 
who wished to shoot Clegg, and were sent to gaol for ten 
years, the first three in irons. Another man, named Smith, 
who had prevented Hammond from firing at Clegg, was let 
off with six years. 

Another batch of this gang of scoundrels which infested 
the river side at Melbourne was secured in connection with 
the stealing of a consignment of bank notes with the face 
value of J i oo, ooo. These notes were brought to Mel- 
bourne in the ship Strathedon^ consigned to Messrs. Willis, 


Merry & Co. as agents for the Union Bank of Australia. 
The notes were for 15, ;io, ^5, and i. They were 
unsigned and were therefore non-negotiable. They appear 
to have been taken from the ship and dumped down on the 
wharf, pending the arrival of a dray to take the case to the 
warehouse of Messrs. Willis, Merry & Co. When the dray 
arrived, however, the box could not be found. The loss 
caused great excitement and the police were notified of the 
robbery. Some days later an unsigned ;io note was passed 
on Messrs. Brasch & Sommerfeld, Collins Street, in ex- 
change for clothing, and this led to the arrest of William 
Young. During the following week William Layworth, 
William Simpson, William Rogers, and Thomas Stroud were 
detected in attempts to pass unsigned notes on various hotel 
and boarding-house keepers, store-keepers, and others, and 
were arrested. Stroud's residence was searched and a number 
of the unsigned notes were found there. His wife was 
arrested, but was acquitted. Layworth turned Queen's 
evidence and escaped punishment, but Young, Simpson, 
Rogers, and Stroud were sentenced to long terms of im- 
prisonment. The jury commented on the carelessness shown 
by the bank and its agents in leaving the box unwatched 
on the wharf. The manager of the bank expressed his 
regrets and promised that more care should be taken in 

John Atkins went into the Cross Keys Hotel in 
Melbourne and called for a drink. George Ellison, who 
was in the bar, asked him what he had done with the gold 
he had brought from the diggings. Atkins replied that he 
had none. Ellison called him a liar, and said that if he 
had not come from the diggings his trousers would not be 
' e colour they were. Everybody knew a digger, because 
his moleskin trousers were always coloured by the clay he 
worked in. A row started, and the landlord interfered and 
told Atkins to leave. He did so, but was followed by 
Ellison and another man, who knocked him down and 
robbed him of his gold. Ellison was arrested next day and 
was sent to gaol. 

The Geelong Advertiser of March 5th says : " The 
shameful want of adequate protection along the main roads 
leading to the diggings has repeatedly been exemplified in 



the robberies, assaults, and murders committed by bush- 
rangers upon a number of luckless wayfarers, with the 
grossest and most notorious impunity. These unavenged 
offences against society and the public peace have been 
excused by some, on account of the difficulty of keeping 
afoot such an extended line of patrol as would effectually 
intimidate marauders. . . . When we are in possession 
of the fact that the Sydney Executive could and did accom- 
plish such protective arrangements over a hundred and fifty 
miles of country, we may be allowed to doubt the alleged 
inability of the Victorian Government to render equally 
efficient aid out of a revenue probably ten times as great as 
that derived by the sister colony from the same source ; at 
least we might reasonably suppose that townships between 
Melbourne and Mount Alexander, Geelong and Ballarat, 
would be supplied with police, mounted or otherwise, to act 

in a radius of ten miles or so when called upon 

A gentleman well known to the public, from his long con- 
nection with the newspaper press, has been the victim of a 
murderous assault. His story is that while at Ballan, a 
township about twenty miles this side of Ballarat, on the 
Melbourne road, a man attacked him with an iron poker. 
The gentleman raised his arm to protect his head and it 
was broken. But for this the blow might have fallen on 

his head and proved fatal Two days were 

wasted at Ballan and four at Bacchus Marsh waiting to 
find a magistrate to issue a writ for the arrest of his 

assailant The gentleman having been robbed 

of his money had to make his way to town for medical 
aid by the charity of persons along the road. Fortunately 
some kind friends supplied him with means to obtain food 
and carriage." 

At the time the police were too busy harrying the 
diggers for the exorbitant licence to attend to the roads, 
but later in the year, when the Melbourne papers backed up 
the demand for better police protection, police stations 
were established at the larger camping places where villages 
or, as they are called in Australia, townships had grown up. 
In the meantime numbers of murders were committed 
without the perpetrators of the crimes being discovered. 
Thus Mr. and Mrs. Skinner were travelling from Bendigo 


to the new rush at Mclvor and camped for the night 
on the banks of Eve Creek. In the morning Skinner 
went to look for his horse while his wife prepared 
breakfast. When she went to the lagoon to fill the billy 
to make the tea, she saw the half-immersed body of a man. 
When her husband returned he drew the body out of the 
water, and saw that the head had been fearfully battered. 
A pocket-knife, pipe, tobacco, and a silk handkerchief were 
found in the pockets, but no gold or money. An enquiry 
was held in this case, and a verdict of murder was pro- 
nounced against some person or persons unknown, and that 
was all ; but there were hundreds of such cases in which no 
enquiry was held. 

John Shannon was travelling from Ballarat to Geelong, 
and stopped for the night at an inn at Batesford. He called 
on Mr. White, a butcher, and had tea and was about to 
return to his inn, when three men stopped him at the door. 
One of these men asked, " Is this the butcher's shop ? " 
"Yes," replied Shannon. "Ah! you're just the bloke we 
want," exclaimed the man. The three men then hustled 
Shannon back into the shop and compelled him to stand 
with his back to the wall and his arms stretched out. 
White was placed in a similar position, and made to stand 
while the robbers emptied the till. They then searched 
Shannon's pockets, and took out a parcel of gold and some 
money. He objected, and one of the men who had been 
standing on guard at the door drew a pistol, put the muzzle 
close to Shannon's breast, and pulled the trigger. Shannon 
fell. The man who had been searching him turned the 
body over, and then said, " Barry, it's finished ; we'll be off." 
The three men then left, no attempt being made to detain 
them. An inquest was held on the body, and a verdict of 
wilful murder was returned against three men whose names 
were unknown. The jury added : " We cannot separate 
without expressing a strong feeling with regard to the 
unprotected state of the road between Geelong and Ballarat, 
which is overrun with bad characters. We would respect- 
fully but firmly urge on the Executive the immediate 
necessity of erecting intermediate police stations between 
the two places, with patrols to traverse the road from station 
to station, and we would also point out the necessity for 


strenuously enforcing the Vagrant Act." Three men were 
arrested and charged with this cold-blooded murder, but 
were acquitted. 

The great bushranging event of the year was the sticking 
up and robbing of the Gold Escort from the Mclvor Gold- 
field. The escort was a private one travelling from Mclvor 
to Kyneton, where it met the Government Escort which 
conveyed gold from Bendigo and Mount Alexander to 
Melbourne. It started, as usual, on July a8th. At about 
fifteen miles from Mclvor and three miles from the Mia- 
Mia Hotel, there was a sharp bend in the road round a 
point of rocks which jutted out from the range. At the bend 
a mia-mia, or shelter such as is made of boughs by the blacks, 
had been constructed, and opposite to it a big log was drawn 
across the track. This compelled the driver of the escort 
cart to pull his horses off the track and drive very close past 
the mia-mia. The road was very rough, and the cart swayed 
about badly. Just as it was passing the mia-mia a volley 
was fired from it, and the three troopers on the cart as well 
as the driver fell. The horses on which Mr. Warner, 
in charge of the escort, and Sergeant Duins were mounted 
were both wounded. Although they were wounded, the 
troopers returned the fire as speedily as possible, but could 
see nothing to shoot at except the bushes. The bush- 
rangers fired again, and the troopers were compelled to fall 
back, when about a dozen men rushed from behind the 
mia-mia, seized the two boxes which contained the gold, 
and rushed back into the scrub. Mr. Warner sent Sergeant 
Duins to the nearest police camp for assistance, and then 
followed the bushrangers, who fired at him. He replied 
with the three shots remaining in his revolver, and then 
retired. Then Mr. Warner galloped as fast as his wounded 
horse could go to Patterson's station for help. On his 
return with some of the station hands he found a man 
putting the wounded troopers into the cart, and arrested 
him on suspicion of being one of the robbers. The driver, 
T. Flooks, was the most seriously hurt, and he died a few 
days later. He and the troopers, S. B. Davis, J. Morton, 
and R. Boeswetter, were taken to the hospital at the police 
camp on the Mclvor goldfield as quickly as possible, and 
the man who had been arrested, having proved that he had 


no connection with the bushrangers, but had been acting 
from purely humanitarian motives, was discharged. A 
party was organised to pursue the robbers, and on going to 
the place where the attack had been made three horses 
with packsaddles were found tied to the trees. It was 
conjectured that the robbers had been disturbed before 
they could pack the gold on the horses by the approach of 
the pursuing party, and had made off on foot into the 
ranges. Some time passed away, and then a man named 
John Murphy was arrested on board the ship Madagascar, 
lying in Hobson's Bay. He had taken a passage in her on 
the eve of her departure for England. When charged he 
admitted that he had been one of the party, and promised 
to turn approver. He gave some information, which led to 
the arrest of others of the gang, but he then seems to have 
repented of his decision, as he committed suicide. His 
brother, Jeremiah Murphy, however, was arrested in 
Queensland, and gave the desired information, thereby 
escaping punishment. The gold stolen was valued at about 
^"5000, and very little of it was recovered. George Wilson, 
George Melville, and William Atkins were charged with the 
murder of Thomas Flooks, and were found guilty. They 
were hung in Melbourne, on October 4th. Atkins died as 
soon as the bolt was drawn, but Wilson and Melville 
struggled for several minutes. The hangman was com- 
pelled to " draw the legs of Melville down with considerable 
force " before life was extinct. 

Alfred Stallard and Christopher Goodison went to a 
tent at Bendigo Creek, and entered into conversation with 
Mrs. Roberts, who lived there. They offered her a glass of 
rum which she drank. It is supposed that the liquor was 
drugged, as she became insensible, and the two men " made 
a pack " of everything valuable in the tent, including five 
ounces of gold, and walked away. On his return to his tent, 
William Roberts was informed of what had taken place and 
gave information to the police. The robbers were followed 
and were captured near the Loddon River. When they were 
asked at their trial whether they had anything to urge as a 
reason for mitigating their punishment, Goodison com- 
plained that they had been chained to a tree for three days 
at the Loddon. They were forced to walk to Mount 


Alexander, and were then chained to a log in the Camp 
Reserve for ten days. They were marched to Kyneton, 
where they were kept in the lock-up for five days on bread 
and water. From thence they were conveyed to Melbourne 
by coach. They received little sympathy, however, because 
it was well known that diggers whose only crime was 
inability to pay a heavy licence fee were treated no better. 

Occasionally the tragic events of the year were lightened 
by a touch of comedy, as when a resident of Ashby was 
returning home from his business place in Geelong. It was 
dark when he was crossing the dam, when a man presented a 
pistol at him and called " Bail up." The suburbanite was 
taking home with him a bottle of brandy, which, in accord- 
ance with the custom of that time, was not wrapped in 
paper. Paper was too dear in Australia to be used for 
wrapping articles which would keep together without. 
When challenged, the suburbanite brought the bottle from 
under his coat, presented it at the head of the bushranger, 
and cried, " You bail up." The would-be robber, taken by 
surprise, dropped his pistol and turned to run, but the suburb- 
anite cried "Stop, or I'll fire," and the fellow stopped. The 
suburbanite thought for a moment whether he should take 
the " bushranger " to the lock-up or not, and decided that it 
would only entail a "lot of trouble," so he punched his head 
and let him go. He kept the pistol as a trophy, and carried 
home his bottle intact. About the same time Edmund 
Taylor was found in the bush dead. His body was terribly 
mutilated. He had left Eureka, Ballarat, to travel to Burnt 
Bridge, and was known to have taken with him a bank 
receipt for ^200 and a ^10 note. 

Arthur Burrow and William Garroway called at the hut 
of William Henry Mitchell, at Pennyweight Flat, Ballarat, 
and asked the way to the township. Mitchell told them 
and was then asked to " shout." Mitchell refused, when 
Garroway struck him with a pick handle, while Burrow drew 
out a pistol and presented it. They took what gold they 
could find and walked on. They were joined by two other 
men, and stuck up and robbed Alexander McLean. They 
were followed and arrested. 

William Bryan and John Douglass were also convicted 
of highway robbery at Muddy Creek and other places 


between Geelong and Ballarat, and sent to gaol for five 
years. James Nugent and four others stopped Benjamin 
Napton on the road near Modewarre. They pretended they 
were policemen in search of bushrangers. Nugent was 
anxious to take care of Napton's gold for him, but Napton 
refused to entrust it to him. They walked together to 
Kildare, where they went into the Sportsman's Arms and had 
drinks. When they came out, Napton missed his gold, 
and Nugent was arrested. A knife was found on him, and 
this had some soil sticking to it. At the police-court 
investigation the magistrate recommended the police to dig 
in the yard of the hotel near where Nugent had been 
standing. They did so, and found a bag containing 9 oz. of 
gold. Two nuggets, which Napton said were also in it, 
could not be found. 

Roberts, who had been convicted of complicity in the 
robbery of gold from the ship Nelson, but who had been 
pardoned on a question of identity having been subsequently 
raised, was captured, and charged at Buninyong with high- 
way robbery. He, with ten other men, was being conveyed 
to Geelong to serve the ten years to which he had been 
sentenced, and were halted at Ray's Hotel, on the road, for 
refreshments. Roberts begged to be allowed to write a 
letter to a magistrate in the neighbourhood, and his request 
being granted, his right hand was freed from the handcuffs. 
The other prisoner to whom he was chained managed to 
slip his hand out of the handcuff, and Roberts being thus 
free, jumped through the window and bolted for the bush. 
Only one constable had been left in the room in charge of 
the prisoners, and he could only shout out an alarm. How- 
ever, Roberts ran almost into the arms of the foot policeman, 
who had recently been stationed at this point, and he held 
the bushranger until the other constables came up. 

On December i4th, 1854, Thomas Quinn, a stonemason, 
started from his home in Geelong and rode to Ballarat. 
He left his pony at Mrs. Smith's, about three miles from 
the diggings, and walked in. He stopped at the tent of 
John Boulton, and played cards with Boulton and his mate, 
Henry Marriott. Later on the three men went to the tent 
owned by Henry Beresford Garrett at the Big Gravel Pits. 
They took their revolvers, but no powder and shot, and 


walked across Main Street to the Bank of Victoria on 
Bakery Hill. They had formulated a plan to rob the bank, 
and Quinn had been induced to join on the understanding 
that no violence was to be used. Hence the unloaded 
pistols. They put new caps on to the revolvers and some 
paper in the muzzles to " make them look as if they were 
loaded." Garrett and Boulton entered the bank, Marriott 
stopped at the door inside, while Quinn remained outside 
on watch in the street. They ordered the cashier and teller, 
Messrs. Buckley and Marshall, to " bail up." Then they 
tied the hands of the two bank officials, and collected the 
spoil. As soon as they were outside they separated, one 
going down Bakery Hill, another along the Melbourne 
Road, and the others by different routes across the Eureka 
Plateau, having previously agreed to meet at Garrett's tent. 
They had taken with them notes, sovereigns, and silver to 
the amount of ^14,300, besides about 350 ounces of gold. 
When they had divided the loot Marriott returned to his 
lodgings in "the township," now known as the City of 
Ballarat. He lodged at a boarding-house in Lydiard Street. 
Garrett disposed of his tent and tools, and went by 
coach to Melbourne, from whence he shipped direct 
for London. Quinn and Boulton went to Geelong. 
They stayed one night at Quinn's house in Chilwell, 
and went by boat next day to Melbourne, where they 
sold their share of the gold at the London Chartered 
Bank in Collins Street. They returned next day 
to Geelong, and again stopped at Quinn's house for a 
night, and then went back to Boulton's tent on the diggings. 
They took good care not to mention the robbery before 
Mrs. Boulton, because " she was a good woman." On the 
following day Boulton went to the bank from which the 
money had been stolen and asked for a draft on London for 
^1450. With an infatuation difficult to account for he 
tendered in payment for this draft some of the stolen bank 
notes, among those which he had received for the gold 
in Melbourne. This was almost like asking plainly to be 
arrested. Of course the notes were recognised at once. 
He was kept waiting on some frivolous pretext while the 
police were sent for, and was then arrested. One of the 
stolen ;io notes was produced at the trial and identified 


as part of the money advanced by Boulton in payment of 
the draft. Quinn and Marriott were speedily arrested, 
and Quinn turned approver. The other two were sentenced 
to ten years' penal servitude. Detective Webb followed 
Garrett to London and found him in fashionable lodgings 
near Oxford Street. The detective watched him for some 
days before he made up his mind that the fashionably- 
dressed man was the bank robber he was after. One day 
he saw Garrett come out of his lodgings and followed him 
into Oxford Street. Suddenly Webb shouted "Garrett," 
and Garrett, taken by surprise, stopped and half-turned 
round. That was enough to convince the detective that he 
was right. He walked up to the robber, slapped him on 
the shoulder, and said " How do you do, Mr. Garrett ? " 
" I don't know you," replied Garrett. " Perhaps not," 
returned the detective, " but I know you. You've just 
arrived from Melbourne in the Dawstone. I've a warrant 
here to arrest you for robbing the Bank of Victoria at 
Ballarat. Will you come quietly?" Garrett saw that the 
game was up and surrendered. He reached Melbourne in 
August, 1855, and was speedily sentenced to keep his 
former mates company for ten years. 

Sufficient has, I think, been said to indicate the state 
of the country and the character of the crimes committed 
during this epoch. How many men were shot while 
prowling about the tents on Ballarat, Bendigo, Mount 
Alexander, and other diggings it is impossible to say. Many 
of the bushrangers, after having made a haul on the roads or 
on the diggings, went to Melbourne or Geelong and spent 
their ill-gotten gains in riot and debauchery, and then 
committed crimes in these towns for which they were 
captured and punished. Others returned to New South 
Wales or to Van Diemen's Land and ended their careers 
there. It was rarely known how many crimes even those 
who were captured had committed. They were placed 
on trial for their last offence. In some cases it was said 
that the prisoner had been guilty of other crimes, but 
the difficulty of finding witnesses in a population which 
was continuously shifting from one end of the country to 
the other, as new goldfields were opened, made it impossible 
to prosecute for crimes committed a few months before. It 


was the custom therefore to inflict long terms of imprison- 
ment to keep the evil-disposed out of mischief for a time. 
When a prisoner was tried and convicted for more than 
one crime the sentences were usually made concurrent, so 
that there was no encouragement for the police to pile up a 
record of crimes against a prisoner. Captain Melville was 
the one exception to this rule. 

The sole motive for the robberies of this epoch 
was a sordid lust for gold, which seems to have seized 
many men who but for the gold discoveries might have 
lived out honourable lives. The case of George 
Hanslip may be cited as an instance of this. He 
was a confidential clerk employed by Mr. Spence, draper, 
of Collins Street, Melbourne. He was sent by his employer 
to pay some accounts and purchase goods in Sydney, at that 
time the emporium of Australia. For convenience of carriage, 
in days when communication was difficult and bank drafts 
rare, he was entrusted with 1400 ounces of gold and some 
jewellery, and was instructed to offer the gold to Messrs. C. 
Newton & Co., of Pitt Street, on his arrival at Sydney. He 
reached Sydney by boat at nine a.m., but did not call at 
Messrs. Newton's store until three p.m., when he reported 
that he had been robbed of the gold. He seemed very 
excited, saying to Mr. Newton "Oh, what shall I do ?" He 
asked Mr. Newton to go with him to Malcolm's Adelphi 
Hotel, and Mr. McKeon, one of the partners in the firm, 
did so, and saw a carpet bag which had been ripped open. 
Hanslip said he felt certain that the gold had been 
taken to Hobart Town, and asked Mr. Newton for the 
loan of 50 to enable him to go there to seek 
for it, but whether Hanslip overdid his part or not, 
Mr. Newton began to be suspicious of him, and refused to 
lend the money. One thing that tended to make him doubt 
that the money had been stolen as Hanslip said, was that 
Hanslip was spending money very freely. Enquiries were 
made, and it transpired that Hanslip had called n a Mr. 
Marks and offered to sell him the gold before he called on 
Mr. Newton. Marks had agreed, and sent a man with 
Hanslip to the Adelphi to fetch the gold, so that it might be 
weighed. On their arrival Hanslip had fumbled about with 
his key for several minutes and could not open the door of 


his room. He said he believed the door must have been 
nailed up. He got it open at last, and when they went in 
the first thing they saw was the ripped bag and a few grains of 
gold scattered about on the hearthrug. Another carpet bag 
had been turned out, and the clothes scattered about the 
room. It was after this that Hanslip went to Mr. Newton's, 
who advised him to give notice to Mr. McLerie, the Police 
Superintendent. Hanslip went to Mr. McLerie's office, and 
afterwards had a handbill printed offering ^1000 reward 
for the recovery of the gold. Information was to be 
addressed to " George Hanslip, Esq." The result of the 
police enquiries was that Hanslip was himself arrested and 
charged with having stolen the gold. On enquiries being 
made, it was discovered that he had left the jewellery 
entrusted to him at his lodgings in Melbourne. He was 
convicted, but in consequence of his previous good character 
he was let off with a comparatively light sentence. 

But for the unfortunate dispute between the Govern- 
ment and the diggers over the licence fee, it is probable that 
the bushrangers might have been disposed of in less time 
than they were. That dispute culminated at the end of 
1854, in a fight between the more violent section of the 
diggers and the military. Although the military won in the 
conflict on the Eureka, the diggers were the actual victors, 
and during the year 1855 they were granted all that the 
moderate party had previously asked for. With the settlement 
of this vexed question the police were relieved from their 
task of harrying the diggers, and devoted their time to the 
suppression of bushranging so successfully, that in the 
latter half of 1855 the Government proposed to make 
a considerable reduction in the police force. The 
Ballarat Times, the Bendigo Advertiser, and the various 
newspapers in Melbourne and Geelong protested strongly 
against this proposed reduction. The gold digging organs 
predicted an immediate increase in bushranging and 
other forms of lawlessness, but when the reduction 
was made in 1856, these predictions were not fulfilled. 
No doubt many of the bushrangers were captured and 
punished as horse-stealers. The two crimes have always 
been intimately related in Australia. Horses were a 
necessity to bushrangers, and a man who would steal 


a horse would not be likely to hesitate to stick up an 
unarmed man if money or gold might be obtained by that 
means, and they were quite as liable to be arrested while 
stealing a horse as when robbing a man. For two or three 
years it was almost impossible for any honest man to keep a 
horse. Perhaps one of the most daring and impudent of this 
class of offence, was the stealing of Dr. Bailey's " Creamy," 
in 1855. Dr. Bailey was perhaps the best known man in 
Geelong. He was elected the first mayor of the town when 
it was incorporated in 1849, an d was re-elected for several 
consecutive years. He was very wealthy, rather pompous, 
and highly respected. He had given up general practice, 
but had an office, where he received a few patients and 
friends, at the rear of Mr. Poulton's chemist's shop in the 
Market Square. One morning he rode to his office as 
usual, hitched Creamy, which was as well known in 
Geelong as his master, to a post in Moorabool Street, the 
busiest portion of the town, and went into his office. 
Almost as soon as the doctor disappeared, a man in shirt 
sleeves unhitched the horse, threw himself carelessly into 
the saddle and rode slowly away. He nodded familiarly 
to the policeman at the corner, who, like the numerous 
persons about at the time, thought the fellow was the doctor's 
groom sent to take Creamy back to the stable. The man 
rode very slowly up Moorabool Street until he turned into 
Ryrie Street, but once out of sight of those who saw him 
mount he must have travelled much faster. He had barely 
turned the corner when the real groom rode up, and he was 
much surprised to find that Creamy was already gone. Of 
course, the excitement was intense. The idea that anybody 
would dare to steal the doctor's horse had never entered the 
head of the most imaginative person in Geelong. Why, 
even a burglary at Buckingham Palace would not have been 
more astonishing. Crowds collected to stare at the hitching 
post on the kerb opposite the doctor's office. Parties of 
mounted police and civilians started to hunt for the robber 
in all directions, but no traces of the missing Creamy could 
be discovered, and it was not until some months later that 
he was discovered in Ballarat. The daring scoundrel had 
ridden him straight to the diggings, and had sold him in 
Mr. O'Farrell's newly-opened " Horse Bazaar." 


An Escape from Norfolk Island ; Stealing a Government Boat ; The 
Convicts of New South Wales ; A Terrible Indictment ; Thomas 
Willmore ; Murder of Philip Alger ; Murder of Malachi Daly ; 
Fight between two Bushrangers ; Hunting down Willmore ; His 
Capture while Asleep ; The Last of the Van Diemen's Land Bush- 
rangers ; Wilson and Dido ; Some Minor Offenders ; An 
Unfounded Charge ; Change of Name to Rid the Island of Evil 

THE rush of men of all sorts from all parts of the world to 
the great goldfields of Victoria, although it no doubt attracted 
the majority of the desperate characters from the neighbouring 
colonies, did not entirely free them from bushrangers. It is 
necessary, therefore, to devote our attention to these, and 
Norfolk Island claims first place. On March i5th, 1853, a 
few months before the penal settlement on the island was 
finally broken up, a number of convicts were employed in 
loading the store ship Lord Auckland. The ship lay off in 
the roads, and the goods were taken out to her in boats 
rowed by convicts, under the charge of soldiers. One boat, 
manned by the convicts Dennis Griffiths, James Clegg, 
Thomas Clayton, Robert Mitchell, Joseph Davis, Patrick 
Cooper, Jeremiah O'Sullivan, John Naisk, and " Ginger," 
was on its way to the ship with a load. When it was at 
about a quarter of a mile from the shore the convicts 
suddenly rose up, rushed the soldiers, and threw them over- 
board. No other boat was near, and this gave the convicts the 
opportunity they had been looking for. One constable was 
left on board, and Bordmore, the coxswain, seized the gunwale 
of the boat and held on. The convicts resumed their oars and 
pulled as hard as they could, but as Bordmore refused to let 
go, and stopped the way of the boat, he was taken on board 


again and set to his old work of steering. He was, however, 
ordered on pain of death to steer for the main land. On 
April nth they reached Stradbroke Island, off Moreton 
Bay, but in taking the boat through the surf she stranded. 
The men on board, however, all got safely on shore. The 
constable and coxswain, with convict Mitchell, were left 
near the landing-place while the other eight walked along 
the coast to seek for food, of which they were much in need. 
They found the hut of Ferdinand Gonzales, a fisherman, 
and tried to induce him to lend them his boat to take them 
to the mainland. They represented themselves as having 
been shipwrecked, but Gonzales did not believe them, and 
refused to trust them with his boat. They went away, and 
Gonzales walked to where they had said their boat had been 
capsized to ascertain whether their story was true or not, 
and during his absence they returned, stripped his hut of all 
that was eatable or of value, and stole his boat. They 
pulled round the coast out of sight, and then sent Clegg 
and Griffiths to fetch the constable and the others, but the 
two officers had in the meantime secured Mitchell, and now 
arrested Clegg and Griffiths. The other six runaways 
waited for a time, and then started for the mainland. On 
the Monday following a fisherman named Thomas Duffy 
went from the mainland to the island, and he consented to 
land the constable, the coxswain, and their three prisoners 
at Moreton Bay, from whence they marched to Brisbane, 
where the prisoners were lodged in gaol. In a few days 
complaints of robberies having been committed along the 
coast were received, and the Customs boat, with 
six armed constables on board, was despatched to 
capture the runaways. They were told to call at 
Cleveland Point to pick up the Chief Constable, who had 
gone to the coast by land. When near the mouth of the 
Brisbane River, on passing a patch of scrub, the constables 
suddenly became aware that another boat was alongside, and 
that they were threatened by six men armed with pistols. 
This completely turned the tables. The constables were 
compelled to hold up their hands, and were towed into the 
scrub, where they were forced to land and strip. The 
convicts took the constables' clothes and gave them their 
own rags in exchange, and then, having made them get into 


Gonzales' old boat, ordered them to " be off." There was 
nothing else to be done, and the would-be captors returned 
to Brisbane as rapidly as they could, only to be arrested as 
the runaways. However, they soon established their identity, 
and were released. In the meantime the runaways, being 
decently dressed and having a first-class boat, pulled to the 
barque Acacia, which was lying at the mouth of the river 
waiting for the mails, before beginning her voyage to Sydney. 
They told their old story about being shipwrecked mariners, 
and were believed and invited on board, where they were 
hospitably feasted. The constables were blamed for not 
having given notice to the vessels lying at the mouth of the 
river, of the fact that these convicts were at large, but they 
had not yet reached that part of the river when they were 
captured themselves, and if they had gone to these vessels 
in Gonzales' battered boat and in the tattered raiment of the 
runaways, they would not only not have been believed, but 
might have been detained or sent to Brisbane as the 
runaways they resembled. It was a very trying and difficult 
position in which they were placed. When the convicts 
left the Acacia where they had been so well entertained, they 
pulled to the house of Mr. Watson, the chief pilot, and robbed 
him of provisions, a gold watch and chain, and about 40 in 
money. They stove in his boat to prevent him from going 
to the mainland to report, but left him a bottle of rum out 
of his store to "keep his spirits up a bit." Mr. Watson, 
however, managed, when they had gone away, to patch up his 
boat so as to enable him to cross the narrow strait which 
separated Pilot Island from the mainland, and very soon 
several boats, manned by constables and volunteers, were 
searching the scrubs and islands near the mouth of the river 
in hopes of being able to capture the runaways. On May 
1 2th, Eugene Lucette was rowing near the mouth of the 
river, when he discovered the stolen Customs Officer's 
boat among the mangrove bushes. He towed the boat up 
the river and restored it to its proper owners. Mr. W. A. 
Duncan, J.P., Mr. Shendon (the customs officer), Mr. 
Sneyd (the chief constable), and a party of the water police- 
constables started in pursuit. They had some black trackers 
with them, and these soon found a camp among the man- 
groves where the convicts had recently been staying. The 


tracks were patiently followed by the blacks for some 
distance, and at length the party was found near the 
Cleveland Road, about eight miles from Brisbane. They 
were in a very weak condition, having had no food, they 
said, for four days, and were easily captured. They had 
tried to make a living by bushranging along the coast, 
having landed at several points and robbed the few settlers 
there were there then. At Wide Bay they had come on a 
large camp of natives who appeared so hostile that the 
convicts had been afraid to land, and had therefore worked 
their way back to Moreton Bay with the intention of going 
up the country to look for work, as they were tired of living 
by robbery. They had a number of watches and other 
articles of value, two guns and two pistols, all loaded. 
They were tried on two charges, viz : stealing the Customs 
Officer's boat, the property of Her Majesty, &c., and stealing 
a boat belonging to Ferdinand Gonzales, fisherman, and 
were convicted. They were sentenced to fifteen years' penal 

These men had been sent to Norfolk Island for bush- 
ranging and other crimes committed in Van Diemen's 
Land, and therefore had nothing to do with New South 
Wales until they landed at Moreton Bay as escapees. 
Griffiths, Clegg, and Mitchell were sent back to the island 
in charge of the constable and coxswain who had captured 
them, and who were officials under Mr. John Price, Com- 
mandant of the island. The six convicted of stealing the 
Government boat at Brisbane were not retransported to the 
island, but were accommodated in the gaol at Moreton Bay. 

It may be as well to state here that transportation to 
New South Wales ceased in 1841, and only two vessels con- 
veying convicts reached that colony afterwards. These 
conveyed some prisoners who were supposed to be reformed 
characters, and were known in Australia as "Pentonvillains," 
from the name of the Reformatory in London through 
which they had passed. They were sent out in consequence 
of an agitation on the part of the wealthier settlers for the 
revival of transportation, but so much indignation was 
aroused among the mass of the colonists that no further 
attempts of that kind were made. The agitation was sup- 
ported by the Governor, Sir Charles A. Fitzroy, who said in 


his despatch to Earl Grey, that " out of about 60,000 persons 
transported hither, 38,000 are reformed and respectable 
members of the community. Of the residue, deaths and 
departures from the colony will account for the greater part ; 
and I am enabled to state that only 372 out of the whole 
are now undergoing punishment of any kind." At the date 
of this despatch, January 6, 1850, the colony of New South 
Wales included the whole of the eastern side of Australia, 
Victoria being then the Port Phillip District, and Queens- 
land the Moreton Bay District of this colony. The southern 
portion, or Port Phillip District, was erected into an inde- 
pendent colony about a year later, and I have dealt with 
the bushranging there during the gold digging era. In New 
South Wales robberies were also very frequent, although 
the condition of the colony was never so desperate as 
that of Victoria. In August, 1853, the Bathurst Free Press 
said : " For some time past the neighbourhood of King's 
Plains has been adding to a murderous notoriety. . . . 
There bloodshed in its most awful shape, murder, appears 
to be reduced to a science, and the stereotyped phrase 
' Murder will out ' has lost its meaning. An unfortunate 
old man, remarkable for nothing so much as his hospitality, 
is slaughtered like a sheep and deposited under a heap of 
stones. . . . Some fifteen years have rolled over his 
grave, his death is still enveloped in mystery. A woman in 
the prime of life is shot dead in her house ; the walls being 
bespattered with her blood. A helpless old shepherd 
. . . who had excited the cupidity or revenge of some 
miscreant, is discovered in the bush, so cut, bruised, mangled, 
and disfigured that words are wanting to describe the tigrish 
bloodthirstiness of the murderer. ... A resident of 
Bathurst . . . starts for that bloodstained region one 
day in perfect health, . . . and the only evidence of 
him, living or dead, are the merest fragments of calcined 
bones . . . and a few hairs which have been pro- 
nounced to be those of a human being." 

The indictment was a terrible one and was no doubt 
true, and the paper was perfectly justified in urging the 
Government to make more strenuous efforts to stamp out 
bushranging. Nevertheless the murders spoken of here 
belong to a bygone age, the perpetrators having probably 


been attracted, like the majority of their class, to the Vic- 
torian goldfields. That was the focus to which all such 
enterprising scoundrels were drawn, and there the majority 
met the fate they so richly deserved. A few robberies were 
committed on the roads in the Bathurst district and in other 
parts of the colony, but the greatest number of such crimes 
took place in the Manaro district and along the road 
leading to Victoria. The only bushranger in New South 
Wales who became notorious at this time was Thomas 
Willmore. He had been under butler to a gentleman in 
England, and at the age of fourteen was transported to 
" Botany Bay," for having stolen a number of silver spoons 
and other plate from his employer. He was first sent to 
Pentonville and was then sent to the colony as a reformed 
character, being among the last of the English convicts sent 
to New South Wales, where he and his companions were 
known as " Earl Grey's pets." He was granted a ticket-of- 
leave soon after landing and was assigned as servant to a 
settler in the Wellington district. Soon after reaching the 
place he quarrelled with a fellow servant and fired a pistol 
at him. The bullet struck a button and glanced off, and the 
man escaped, while Willmore, to avoid a trial, took to the 
bush. He gained a living by highway robbery for some 
months. One day he met Philip Alger, near Tomandra, on 
the Big River. Alger was riding a very fine horse and Will- 
more claimed it as one which had been stolen from him, and 
for which he said he had offered a reward. He demanded 
that the horse should be given to him at once. Alger 
swore he had purchased the horse honestly, and from a man 
whom he knew, and declined to part with it. Willmore 
ended the dispute summarily by drawing a pistol and 
shooting Alger in the stomach. Willmore was aware that 
Alger had a considerable quantity of gold on him, as the 
man had foolishly shown it in a hut where both had lodged 
during the previous night ; but Willmore did not search the 
body and the gold was found on it when it was discovered. 
He seems to have been satisfied with the horse. He 
mounted it and rode towards Wellington. At Montefiore 
he bargained with Malachi Daly for a cart, offering for it a 
quantity of gold dust, which he had no doubt stolen from 
some other victim, in exchange. They could not come to an 


agreement, but continued their journey towards Wellington 
together the next day. At about nine miles from Wellington 
on the road to the Big River the road goes down a very 
steep hill, and both men dismounted to lead their horses 
down. Daly was just starting when Willmore stepped 
before him, pistol in hand, and demanded his money and 
gold. Daly protested that he had left it at his hut, and 
Willmore called him a " liar." They disputed for a few 
minutes, and then Willmore shot Daly through the head. 
On searching the body Willmore found only thirty shillings 
and a deposit receipt for 11, which was of no value to 
any one except the depositor. Later on Willmore boasted 
that he got ^40 from Daly ; but, in his last confession, he 
said he had only asserted that he had found ^40 on Daly's 
body because he did not wish it to be known that he had 
" killed a man for thirty bob." Willmore was only just 
riding away from where Daly's body was lying when he was 
ordered to bail up by another bushranger. Instead of 
complying with this request Willmore drew his pistol and 
fired, both men shooting at the same time. Willmore's 
horse bolted, and ran for some considerable distance before 
he could pull him up. When he had once more brought 
him under control Willmore wheeled his horse round, and 
galloped back to the scene of the encounter. He tracked 
his late opponent for a mile or more. He felt certain that 
he had not missed, and expected to find the body lying 
somewhere in the bush. Gradually he became convinced 
that he had been mistaken, and that the bushranger had 
escaped, and gave up the search, feeling "very sorry" 
that he had not fired straighter. During the following 
three or four weeks he stuck up and robbed a number 
of people on the roads between Wellington and Mudgee, 
until at length it was resolved at a public meeting 
to hunt him down. A large party assembled by appoint- 
ment, and this was divided into several smaller bands, 
each of which was to travel through the district by a 
specified route, and all were to meet again at a certain 
time and place and report. One party, under the leader- 
ship of Mr. Cornish, got on his track and followed it for 
two days. On the third day they discovered him asleep 
on Ponto Island in the Macquarie River, where he had 


made a camp among the scrub. He was conveyed to 
Bathurst, tried and convicted of murder and hung. Great 
satisfaction was expressed at his capture having been 
effected without further loss of life, and Mr. Cornish and 
the men under him were highly complimented for the 
skill they had shown in tracking him to his lair and their 
caution in effecting his capture without waking him, as it 
was highly improbable that he would have surrendered 
without a fight, and his skill and coolness were such as to 
make it almost certain that one man at least would have 
been shot. In reporting his trial the Sydney Morning 
Herald compared him with " that monster Lynch," 
and congratulated the colony on having got rid of " such 
a savage." 

In Van Diemen's Land the interregnum between the 
two bushranging eras was shorter than in New South 
Wales. In fact, in spite of the assertion that bushranging 
had been suppressed with the breaking up of the Cash and 
Kavanagh gang, robberies took place occasionally with 
only short intervals between them. As a rule, however, 
there was nothing very remarkable in them, and only a few 
seem worthy of notice here. On February igth, 1846, 
Henry Ford and Henry Smart stuck up and robbed 
a small farmer named Robert Stonehouse, on the Tamar 
River. They then compelled Stonehouse, under threats, to 
accompany them to the next farm and call out his neighbour, 
John Joynes. When Joynes opened the door the bush- 
rangers rushed in. They tied Joynes and Stonehouse and 
ransacked the house, taking everything of value. When 
they left they walked along the road and robbed every one 
they met. On March 5th they went to Mr. Philip Oakden's 
house and rang the bell. Mr. Oakden went to the door 
and was immediately confronted with a gun and ordered to 
stand. Mr. Oakden informed the robbers that Mrs. Oakden 
was very ill and requested them not to make a noise. He 
said he would give them all he had in the house if they 
would go quietly and not alarm his sick wife. He gave 
them three ^i notes and some silver. The robbers insisted 
on going in and searching the drawers for jewellery, but 
took nothing. They then asked Mr. Oakden for his gold 
watch. He gave it to them and they left, taking Mr. 


Oakden with them. They stopped at the Rev. Dr. Browne's 
house and made Mr. Oakden enquire whether his friend was 
at home. On Dr. Browne coming to the door he was bailed 
up, and Ford asked him "How much money have you got?" 
" None," replied Dr. Browne. " Take care I don't find you 
out in a lie," cried Ford ; " where's your money ? " They 
went in and began searching the drawers and cupboards, 
and while they were thus employed Chief District Constable 
Midgeley, who had heard that the bushrangers were in the 
town, came in with another constable, and taking the 
bushrangers unawares captured them, though not without 
trouble. When called on to surrender Ford tried to get out 
his pistol, but Midgeley said, " If you stir you'll be settled 
quick." Ford and Smart were convicted of highway robbery 
and death was recorded against them, but the sentences were 
commuted to imprisonment for life. 

A carrier was stopped on the Brighton Road by two 
armed bushrangers on Sunday, December 6th, 1846. A 
carpet bag, containing some dress clothes belonging to 
Lieutenant Lloyd, of the 96th Regiment, which were being 
sent to Hobart Town for safety, was stolen. The coat and 
vest buttons were faced with gold. Several other articles 
were taken from the carrier's cart. For this robbery 
Richard Gordon was apprehended by District Constable 
Goldsmith and Constable Daley. On the following day 
Henry Jenkins, alias " Billy from the Den," was also 
captured by the police. Billy had broken out of Oatland's 
Gaol about three months previously, and had been living by 
highway and other robberies since. The clothes were 
offered to Mr. Roberts, a pawnbroker in Hobart Town, and 
he, suspecting that they were stolen, communicated with 
the police, who also arrested Michael Cogan, a marine store 
dealer, as an accomplice. 

On December 3131, a party of constables out seeking for 
bushrangers found a boat containing provisions, wearing 
apparel, &c., on the east bank of the River Tamar, about 
eight miles from George Town. Another boat was reported 
to have been stolen from Mr. Coulson. The police watched 
by the boat all day and night. On the next morning, 
Sunday, they saw two men pulling another boat towards the 
spot and hid themselves in the scrub. When, the men 


landed, the constables appeared and the men ran away. 
The constables followed, and ran down one man named 
Jones. The other bushranger, George Jamieson, was 
captured by Mr. Hinton and his crew at the Marine 
Station, near the Heads. Jamieson was seen in the scrub, 
near the station, and one of the men, in accordance with 
Australian custom, invited him into the hut to have some 
food. Jamieson accepted the invitation and, while he was 
eating, Mr. Hinton came in and recognised him. When 
Mr. Hinton said that he should arrest him Jamieson replied, 

" I'll be if you do," and took a tomahawk from under 

his jumper. He was immediately seized from behind by 
one of Mr. Hinton's men and was handed over to the 

The bushrangers Wilson and Dido were the most 
notorious about this time. They were watching Mr. James 
Clifford's house, at Piper's River, on September i6th, 1846, 
and when Mr. Clifford came out they rushed upon him, took 
him inside, tied him, and took wearing apparel, ammunition, 
and other articles out of the drawers and boxes. In January, 
Mr. Rees and Mr. Stevenson started from Campbelltown 
in a gig for St. Patrick's Head. On reaching the fourth gate 
on the road, known as Davidson's gate, they saw two men 
with guns. At first they took these men for constables. 
Stevenson got down to open the gate, and while he was 
doing so Rees became aware of the character of the two 
armed men who were approaching, and called out to 
Stevenson, " Make haste ! Here's the bushrangers ! " 
Stevenson tried to jump into the gig, but before he could do 
so the men were upon him. They presented their guns and 
called upon the travellers to surrender. They then ordered 
Rees to drive the gig off the road into the timber. Mr. Rees 
objected, and the bushrangers told him he need not fear, as 
they intended to act honourably. " But what do you 
want ? " asked Rees. " We want to rob you ; we want your 
money," was the reply. " Then," said Mr. Rees, " why not 
take it here and let us go on ? " The bushrangers made no 
reply, but took the horse by the head and led him away. 
When the gig was in among the timber the robbers 
took 18, a gold watch and chain, and a gold pencil 
case, from Mr. Stevenson; and ^8 and a silver watch 


from Mr. Rees. They also took two dress suits and two 
top coats from the gig, and then ordered the gentlemen to 
take off their boots. "What for?" asked Mr. Rees. 
" Because we want them," was the reply. " But," cried Mr. 
Rees, " how are we to get home ? " " Oh, you're all right. 
You can ride while we have to walk," said the bushranger. 

" But " began Mr. Rees, when he was interrupted with, 

" Oh, no more nonsense. If you don't make haste we'll 
strip you." Stevenson took off his boots, and Rees thought 
it prudent to follow his example. They returned to their 
homes in Campbelltown two and a-half hours after they 
had left, and deferred their visit to the Heads to another 
day. On the 27th the police were informed that Dido, the 
bushranger, had been seen in a hut in Prosser's Forest. A 
party of constables started immediately, and reached the 
place at one a.m. Everything was quiet, and the constables 
walked very cautiously, fearing that if they stepped on a 
stick and broke it the noise would waken the bushranger 
should he be there. The constables took up positions 
round the hut to prevent escape, and then District 
Constable Davis, who was in command, suddenly burst in 
the door. Dido sprang out of the bed and fell on his knees 
on the floor begging for mercy. He was secured without 
resistance. In the hut were a double-barrelled gun and a 
pistol, both loaded ready for use. Mr. Rees's watch and 
some of Mr. Stevenson's clothes were found in the hut. 
When brought up at the police court Dido said he had 
been transported in the name of William Driscoll, but his 
proper name was Timothy. Mr. Tarleton, the magistrate, 
made some remarks on the folly of men taking to the bush. 
Dido replied that he should have been happy enough if he 
had not been betrayed. He might have lived in luxury 
for life. The man who betrayed him had been his best 
friend, but he became jealous and gave him up. He had 
been sixteen times in Launceston. He had been drinking 
about town all day on Christmas Day. He had been 
hocussed and had not been well since. Wilson and he had 
quarrelled and they had parted. Wilson was all right. He 
had a nice little patch of cultivation, with plenty of flour 
and some sheep. He was not likely to be taken. In spite 
of this assertion, however, Wilson was captured a few days 


later while drinking at Pitcher's Inn on the Westbury Road. 
He showed a pistol and this excited suspicion, so Mr. 
Pitcher sent a servant to inform the police. Constable 
Leake came and found the man asleep in a hut at the 
rear of the public-house. He handcuffed him and took 
him to Launceston in a cart. He was identified as Dido's 
mate and was committed for trial at the same time. 

Robberies of a similar character to these took place from 
time to time, but after the discovery of gold in Australia in 
1851 the great object of the disaffected in Van Diemen's 
Land was to get to the mainland. No doubt many of these 
men made their way across the Straits in stolen boats, but 
the majority paid their passages out of the proceeds of their 
robberies. Probably it was in consequence of this exodus 
that no bushrangers became notorious in Van Diemen's 
Land at this time, and a few examples of the crimes 
committed during the later days of the epoch will suffice. 
About the beginning of 1853 a desperate attempt was made 
by nine bushrangers, who had been convicted and were 
being taken from Launceston to Hobart Town, to escape 
from the two constables who had them in charge. The 
prisoners had been very rowdy since leaving Launces- 
ton, and when the party was near Bagdad, Convict 
John Jones suddenly snatched the musket from Constable 
Doran and felled the constable with a blow. Jones then 
shouted "Now we'll fight for it." Constable Mulrooney 
rushed at Jones and endeavoured to wrest the musket from 
him, but the other prisoners forced him back. The prisoners 
were handcuffed together in threes, and this no doubt 
hampered their movements, but they contrived to get Mul- 
rooney down and beat him with their handcuffs. Convict 
McCarthy presented the musket at Mulrooney and pulled 
the trigger, but finding that the gun was not loaded he, in 
a rage snapped the stock across his knee. In doing this the 
bayonet fell off and both sides struggled to obtain possession 
of it. At this moment two men appeared along the road, 
and hearing the noise they hastened forward. One of them 
was an assigned shepherd of Captain Chalmers and was 
armed with a double-barrelled gun. Constable Mulrooney 
was shouting "murder," and the shepherd came to his 
assistance. The convicts then gave up the struggle and fell 


into rank. They were taken to Bagdad, and from thence a 
stronger guard was sent with them until they were safely 
confined in the Pentonville gaol. 

The bushrangers Dalton and Kelly stuck up and 
robbed the Halfway House near Campbelltown in 
January, 1853. On the following day they went to Mr. 
Simeon Lord's house, Bona Vista, near the river, and 
bailed up about thirty people, including the District 
Constable of Avoca, the watchhouse keeper, and another 
constable. The watchhouse keeper was shot dead. There 
were several ladies in the house, and these were ordered to 
go into one room and stay there. The robbers ransacked 
the house in their search for jewellery and other portable 
property. They collected between ^100 and 200, 
besides several gold and a number of silver watches, rings, 
&c. When they had obtained all that they could they 
compelled Mr. Frank Lord to accompany them to the 
stables, where they selected two of the finest horses, with 
saddles, bridles, and spurs. Mounting these horses, the 
robbers rode away to Mr. Duxbury's Inn at Stoney Creek, 
where they bailed up twelve men, including two mounted 
constables. They collected about ^50 more and Mr. 
Duxbury's gold watch. On leaving the inn they went along 
the road, and met Mr. Sykes, recently returned from 
Melbourne. They robbed him of about ^75, returning 
the odd six shillings to enable him to continue his journey. 
They told Mr. Sykes that they intended to rob Captain 
Creer's and other houses along the Esk Valley, and, when 
they had collected all they could, to go to the diggings 
in Victoria. On the following day they visited Vaucluse, 
but Mr. and Mrs. Bayles were away from home 
and they got no money. They, however, took some 
jewellery from the drawers and some provisions from the 
kitchen. During the following week they continued their 
depredations and then went to the coal mines on the river 
Mersey, and stole a whale boat. They impressed four 
men at work there into their service and put to sea, but 
the wind was so tempestuous that they were driven 
back and landed on the coast near Port Sorell, where 
they were captured. 

In February, 1853, a man named Robinson, who had 


recently returned from the Victorian diggings, shot a shoe- 
maker named William Moonan, while he was waxing a 
thread. The murderer dragged the body from the hut to 
the Swan River and threw it in, and then returned to steal 
what little money there was in the place. The bushrangers 
Maberley, Hickson, and Poulston committed a number of 
daylight burglaries in the neighbourhood of Sandy Bay, 
robbing the houses of Messrs. Stacey, Frodsham, Power, 
and Dunkley. From Dunkley's they took more than twenty 
pounds' worth of goods. They had supper at Mr. Winter's 
and then went to camp in the bush not far away. 

Moses Birkett and Peter Perry were captured in a cave 
about this time. The cave was on the shores of Lake 
Crescent, and a large quantity of stolen property was found 
hidden there. Besides the guns and pistols, a couple of 
sheep shear blades, mounted on long wooden handles were 
found, and it was supposed that these had been used in the 
murder of George Kelsey, at Lemon Springs. 

Thanks to the activity of the police and the assistance 
they received from the civilians, such malefactors were 
gradually captured and dealt with. Some of the Victorian 
papers charged the Government of Van Diemen's Land with 
conniving at the escape of expirees from the island to 
Victoria, but there does not appear to be any foundation for 
this charge. It is quite possible that neither the authorities 
nor the public were sorry to be relieved from their company, 
but we have merely to read the accounts published at the 
time, to realise that all was done that was possible to suppress 
bushranging in Van Diemen's Land at this time, and that the 
escapes of these criminals across the Bass's Straits could not 
very well be prevented. It was in 1853 that transportation to 
the island ceased. A few years later, responsible govern- 
ment was established, and the name of the island was changed 
from Van Diemen's Land to Tasmania, with the object of 
getting rid as much as possible of old associations. Very 
shortly afterwards, the papers once more said that bush- 
ranging had been stamped out in the island, and this time 
they were justified in the assertion. No doubt the larger 
settlements on the mainland offered better chances to the 
enterprising Tasmanians, whether they were " old hands " or 
not. Tasmania has, perhaps in consequence of this custom 


of young men going to seek their fortunes in Melbourne or 
Sydney, progressed less rapidly than some of the other 
colonies, but it has progressed, and this progression has been 
as peaceful and as innocent as possible under present social 
conditions, and the island which was once infamous has for 
many years been remarkably clear from criminal offences. 


The New Bushranging Era ; Fallacy of the Belief that Highwaymen 
Rob the Rich to Enrich the Poor ; The Cattle Duffers and Horse 
Planters ; The Riot at the Lambing Flat ; Frank Gardiner, the 
Butcher; Charged with Obtaining Beasts "on the cross," he 
Abandons his Butcher's Shop ; Efforts to Establish a Reign of 
Terror in the District ; A Letter from Gardiner ; The Great 
Escort Robbery. 

HITHERTO the bushrangers of Australia had been, as the 
records prove, drawn almost exclusively from the ranks of 
those who "left their country for their country's good." 
Those who took the most prominent share in the 
next outbreak of the "epidemic" were generally native- 
born Australians. The sequela of the old disease were 
not yet worked out. As I have already said, there were 
numbers of the "old hands" scattered about the bush, 
some of them with farms or small cattle or sheep stations 
of their own who lived fairly honest and useful lives, 
but even among these, whatever may have been their 
station in life, there was the old antagonism to " law 
and order," and their sympathies were all with those who 
waged war against society. Their children imbibed these 
ideas, and wherever there was a neighbourhood where 
this class had collected together, morality was at a low ebb. 
But besides these settlers there were numbers of nomads, 
men who worked as shepherds, bullock-drivers, splitters and 
fencers, shearers, and so on, and as long as the old hands 
formed a majority, or even a considerable minority of the 
bush-workers, it was the custom for men to work from 
shearing to shearing, or from harvest to harvest, and then 
" draw their cheques," make for the nearest public-house, 
and indulge in a wild spree, until they were informed by the 


landlord that the money which their cheques represented 
had been expended. There were some respectable inns in 
the back country where they got fair value for their money 
perhaps, but in too many of these " bush pubs," as they were 
called, the object of the landlord was to " lamb them down " 
in the shortest possible space of time. Perhaps when the 
character of the liquor sold in these places is taken into 
consideration, this method of cheating was not altogether an 
evil. It prevented the bushmen from swallowing such large 
quantities of the deleterious stuff as they might have done if 
they had received full value for their money. During the 
time when they were working their principal mode of amusing 
themselves was telling or listening to tales of the convict 
days. Some of these stories told by the old hands were of 
too revolting a character for repetition, but no cjoubt they were 
founded on fact. Nothing is too horrible or obscene to have 
been true of the convict times. The stories, however, which 
appear to have had the greatest influence over the minds of a 
certain class of Australian youth were those told of the 
bushrangers. In these stories there was of course much 
that was apocryphal, to put it mildly. Many of the exploits 
of the historic highwaymen of old were told as actual facts 
in the careers of some Australian bushrangers, with just 
sufficient variation to adapt them to local purposes. One of 
the ancient superstitions introduced into Australia by these 
story-tellers was that the highwaymen robbed the rich to 
give to the poor. I have no desire to raise any doubts as to 
the generosity and benevolence of Robin Hood, but I can 
find no evidence of any such beneficence on the part of 
any of the Australian bushrangers. No doubt they got 
their money easily, and spent it recklessly. But they did 
not pause to enquire whether the person they robbed was 
rich or poor. There was no such class distinction in the 
colonies as there is and always has been in England ; no 
very poor class not worth robbing and ready to bless any- 
one who gave them a penny, and no hereditary wealthy 
class. Every one had to work somehow for his living, 
though some were more successful in piling up wealth than 
others. But the poor had opportunities which have never 
existed in England, and if they neglected them it was more 
or less their own fault if they were poor. The tendency in 


Australia, as elsewhere, is to build up a wealthy class, but 
this class did not exist in convict times, and is only just 
beginning to appear now. The Australian bushranger in 
fact had to obtain money or go under. He was compelled 
to share his ill-gotten gains with those who supplied him 
with food and information. He was a mark for the black- 
mailer, and he was compelled to find money to bribe those 
who were in a position to lead the troops or the police to 
his hiding place. But the convict bushranger was not so 
well off as the native-born bushranger. There was a strong 
feeling of camaraderie, an esprit de corps, among the 
convicts, which tended to prevent numbers of men from 
betraying him, even though they received no bribes. But 
the new bushranger was more fortunate than the old one. 
He had his parents, his brothers and sisters, his cousins and 
his aunts and uncles, who sympathised with him for family 
and other reasons, and who were bound to help him. It 
was from among these relatives and friends that the " bush 
telegraphs," who informed the bushranger of the where- 
abouts of the^. police, were drawn, and it soon became 
apparent that if bushranging was to be abolished these 
sympathisers and " bush telegraphs " must be dealt with. 

There were several localities in New South Wales where 
the conditions were favourable for bushranging; places where 
the morality was low and where the police, as representatives 
of authority, were hated with all the hatred of the "old 
hand." One of these localities was in the spurs of the Great 
Dividing Range, in the neighbourhood of Burrowa. All 
round this district were a number of small squatters, prin- 
cipally cattle breeders, and among these no man's beast was 
safe. These small squatters were the terror of the big sheep 
and cattle breeders in the plains, and their principal industry 
was " duffing." Duffing was not stealing. If a moralist had 
remonstrated with a Burrowa man whom he found branding 
his neighbour's beast, the Burrowa man would have replied 
" I'm only trying to get back my own. He's duffed many a 
head of my cattle." Sheep could be duffed as well as cattle, 
but the ranges were generally too steep for sheep. One 
sheep breeder of the district, however, adopted, as his dis- 
tinguishing mark, the plan of cutting off both ears, and he 
was a most successful duffer, because his recognised ear- 


mark enabled him to remove the ear-marks in his neighbours' 
sheep. It was no uncommon occurrence for a man to find 
that a calf sucking his cow had been branded by one of his 
neighbours, so that it might be claimed as soon as it was 
weaned. In such a case, if he had complained, his neighbour 
would probably have accused him of having " mothered " the 
neighbour's calf on his cow for the purpose of cheating him 
out of it. 

In such a neighbourhood it was impossible for any 
stranger to travel with horses with any degree of safety. 
Horses bred in the district could be duffed like sheep or 
cattle, and horses travelling through could be "planted." 
If a man, who knew anything of the characteristics of the 
settlers in this district, camped for the night there, and 
failed to find his horses next morning, he did not waste time 
in looking for them himself. He realised at once that one 
of " the boys " had driven them off into some inaccessible 
ravine in the ranges, and " planted " or hidden them there 
until a reward should be offered for their recovery. He 
would therefore go to the nearest station and enquire 
whether his horses had been seen. The answer would be 
" No." Then the traveller would say that he was willing to 
pay " a note " for their recovery. The reply of the native 
would probably be that horses always went astray about 
there. There was such a get-away for them, and the 
warrigals came down and enticed them off. The story of 
the warrigals, or wild horses, tempting working horses away 
was a common fiction. Hobbled horses could not keep up 
with the warrigals across the ridges. But it was sufficiently 
plausible to serve. If the working horses broke their 
hobbles they might perhaps go with the wild horses, but 
even then it is uncertain. However, after a few minutes' 
conversation, the native would probably say that if any one 
could find the horses it was " Jack the Kid," or some other 
local character, as he knew every gully in the ridges. The 
wideawake traveller could understand that " Jack the Kid " 
was the man who had planted his horses, and would not return 
them for less than "a note," that is \, and on this reward for 
villainy being promised the traveller might go to his camp 
with the certainty that the horses would be brought to him 
in about an hour. It would be useless to look for them, 


because the planter would be on the watch, and if the 
owner was seen approaching the gully where they were 
the horses would be driven over the ridge into the next 
gully. Cases have happened where a traveller has persisted 
in refusing to be blackmailed and has lost his horses. It 
would be only necessary to cut the hobbles. Then the 
traveller, if he wanted his horses, would have to engage two 
or three expert stockmen to run them in. It was useless to 
complain to the police. The horses had not been stolen. 
They were there. Let the owner come and fetch them. 
Nobody would prevent him and some kind settler would 
even offer the use of his stock-yard if the owner could drive 
them into it. 

This was the state of the district when the rush to the 
newly-discovered Lambing Flat goldfield took place in 
1860. Early in the following year there was a great "roll 
up " of the diggers to drive the Chinese off the field, and 
the military were sent up from Sydney to restore order. In 
this riot the peculiar morality of the diggers, of which I have 
already spoken, was illustrated in a remarkable degree. The 
leaders of the riots strictly forbade robbery, and any person 
found stealing gold or any other property from the Chinese 
was to be handed over to the police; but burning the 
humpies, tents, and other property of the unfortunate 
Chinkies, cutting off their pigtails, beating or otherwise 
ill-treating them, as an inducement for them to leave the 
field, were justifiable if not meritorious acts. In after years 
many of the " flash diggers " wore sashes made of China- 
men's pigtails, sometimes with just as much of the scalp 
attached as would prevent the hairs from scattering. How- 
ever, the riots did not last long and the leader, William 
Spicer, was sent to gaol. 

There were, of course, many of the young men of the 
district in the goldfields and, as far as is known, these 
conformed to the rules laid down by th^ diggers with regard 
to property. But this did not affect their own peculiar 
notions as to the ownership of cattle, sheep, or horses, and 
the attention of the police was early drawn to the district. 
Warrants were soon issued for numbers of the youths on 
charges of horse or cattle stealing, and several were arrested. 
Later it was said that many young fellows, who might have 


remained at home, were " driven on to the roads " by the 
police. That is to say that, because they were interfered 
with in their favourite amusements of duffing and planting, 
they turned bushrangers. 

Among the residents on the diggings was Frank Gardiner, 
who opened a butcher's shop on Wombat Flat. Gardiner 
was born at Boro Creek, near Tarago, in the heart of the 
district in which Jackey Jackey had first won his notoriety 
as a bushranger, and the morals of that district were very 
similar to those I have described as prevalent in the 
Burrowa district. Gardiner went to the diggings in Victoria 
in the "Fifties," was arrested near Ballarat, and tried at 
Geelong for horse-stealing. He was sent to gaol for five years. 
He escaped from the Pentridge stockade and returned home. 
Shortly afterwards he was convicted of horse-stealing at 
Goulburn and sentenced to seven years' imprisonment on 
two charges, the sentences being made concurrent. He 
served half the term and was granted a ticket-of-leave. His 
butcher's shop at Burrangong, to give the diggings its proper 
name, was said to be the resort of all the worst characters 
among the young natives of the district, and the majority of 
the beasts he slaughtered and sold were said to be obtained 
" on the cross." Becoming aware that a warrant had been 
issued for his arrest he abandoned his shop and took to the 
mountains. Here he organised a band of bushrangers, and 
shortly afterwards reports of people being stuck up and 
robbed on the roads round the diggings became frequent. 

In 1861 the young Australian had not taken to cricket 
and football so enthusiastically as he did later, and perhaps 
there were few opportunities for him to get rid of his super- 
fluous energy. Whether this is so or not, it is certain that 
Gardiner's example had an enormous influence. Not only 
were those against whom warrants had been issued for cattle 
and horse-stealing ready to join the gang, but numbers of 
young men and lads who had hitherto led blameless lives 
became so excited that they turned out and tried their 
hands at bushranging. 

The first robberies were in the immediate neighbourhood 
of Burrangong, but very soon the area over which the bush- 
rangers operated was enlarged, and finally embraced the 
whole colony, and even overflowed into the neighbouring 


colonies. At first, however, Gardiner and his gang claim 
our attention, but there were many young men who began 
as independent bushrangers who made their way to the 
Burrangong district to join the gang, and others who in- 
tended to do so who were captured on the road. It is a 
difficult matter to decide who did and who did not belong 
to this gang, as the personnel changed so rapidly. Some 
actual members of the gang acted independently of it for a 
time, and made raids into other districts, while others, after 
having a flutter with Gardiner, left the gang to start 
elsewhere. The bushrangers did not confine their attentions 
to travellers on the roads. They robbed whenever and 
wherever an opportunity occurred. Thus on August iQth, 
1 86 1, Henry Keene, Michael Lawler, and William Watson 
went to Mr. Brennan's station, on the Billabong, and called 
out "All hands in, or we'll blow your brains out." 
Mr. and Mrs. Brennan and a number of men who 
were working at the station were gathered about the 
verandah of the house smoking and talking. Mrs. 
Brennan cried out in alarm, "They're going to shoot." 
James Laurie, one of the men, replied, " Let them shoot 
away." However, the men went inside, as they were told, 
and Lawler dismounted and followed them. Keene took 
his place as sentry at the door, and Watson remained on 
horseback outside. Laurie said to Lawler, "You're the 
man that was looking for a gray mare." " What if I was ? 
What is it to you ? " returned Lawler. Laurie picked up a big 
stick from the fire and made a blow at Lawler, when a shot 
was fired, presumably either by Keene or Watson, and 
Laurie fell. He cried out for water, and Mrs. Brennan told 
her little daughter to go out and fetch a glassful, but Lawler 
would not permit her to leave the room. Lawler was very 
violent. He threatened to shoot any one who opposed him, 
and to " put a firestick to the house " if Mrs. Brennan did 
not give him her money. One of the bushrangers went to a 
hawker named Isaac Lavendale, camped close by, and made 
him go into the house. Lavendale gave the wounded man 
some milk and spilt some on his face. He said, " I'm 
dying don't let them don't let " and then he died. 
Keene fired a ball through the roof of the house and said : 
" I quick took the flashness out of that man. He 


won't be so flash again." The robbers collected all the 
money they could, and took clothes and other articles from 
the hawker's cart. The robbers were subsequently captured 
by the police, and on March 23rd, 1862, were convicted at 
Goulburn and sentenced to death. Sir Alfred Stephen told 
them to prepare to meet their God, when Keene and Lawler 
both said that they were ready. They were innocent. 
Watson said : " I don't care if it's to-morrow ; I hope you 
won't keep me like you did Johnson." When taken from 
court, Watson shouted, " Well, good-bye." 

Charles Ross, William Mackie, and John McMahon, 
alias McManus, robbed the mail at the Chain of Ponds, on 
the Great North Road, on October i7th. They searched 
the letters, took a gold and a silver watch, two gold chains, 
and ^55 in notes and coin from Mr. Jonathan Snell, ^23 
from Mr. Thomas Lumley, and smaller sums and valuables 
from the other two passengers. On the 3oth, Constable 
Leonard saw Mackie in a public house at Lochinvar, near 
Maitland, and challenged him. Mackie attemped to run, 
but was followed and captured. He threw away a gold 
watch, which was picked up and identified as one stolen 
from Mr. Snell. Ross and McMahon were discovered not 
far away and were arrested. When tried they were con- 
victed, but Ross was recommended to mercy on account of 
his previous good character. He was sentenced to five 
years' imprisonment, his companions being sent to gaol for 
seven years. 

Michael Henry Davis, Aaron von Ehrstein, and Robert 
Smith, stopped the mail coach on January 6th, 1862, about 
six miles from Burrangong. Ensign Campbell Morris and 
Sergeant O'Grady, of the i2th regiment, which had been 
engaged in suppressing the riot, were passengers going to 
Cowra. Another passenger, a Frenchman, refused to 
surrender, and Davis fired at him. After this no further 
resistance was made, and Ehrstein, who searched the 
passengers, took 9 133. from the Ensign and other sums 
from the others. The police started in pursuit immediately 
on receiving information of the robbery, and the prisoners 
were captured without much trouble. They were convicted 
and sent to gaol for ten years. 

Benjamin Allerton and another man walked one day into 


the bar of the Wakool Hotel on the lower Billabong and 
called for nobblers like ordinary travellers. They were 
served by Mr. Talbot, the landlord. They then went into 
the dining room and had supper. As soon as the meal was 
over the two men rose, and one of them drew a pistol and 
said, " Excuse us, gentlemen, this is our business." David 
Elliott, who was employed at the hotel, was sitting next the 
bushranger, and made a snatch at the pistol. The bush- 
ranger, however, was on the alert, and jumped aside. Then 
he fired and Elliott fell wounded. Mr. Talbot rushed in from 
the bar and said that he didn't want any more damage done. 
" Take the money in the till," he cried, " and go." The 
bushrangers took some seven or eight pounds from the till, 
a saddle and bridle, a canister of powder, and some clothing, 
but they took nothing from the other persons who had been 
at supper with them. They said that they were going to 
join Gardiner and " make it hot for the traps." Information 
was at once given to the police, and they were followed, but 
only Allerton was found and captured. He was tried at 
Goulburn on March 27th, and found guilty, the jury 
pronouncing the verdict without leaving the box, and the 
judge sentenced him to death. Benjamin Allerton and 
Henry Keene were hung at Goulburn on May 5th. Another 
bushranger named Regan was hung there in June. The 
sentences on Lawler and Watson were commuted to fifteen 
years' imprisonment. 

These were outsiders who intended to join the gang, but 
in the meantime the gang itself had not been idle. John 
Peisley was a well-known settler in the district, and his 
house was said to be the resort of the bushrangers, and was 
closely watched by the police. On December zyth, 1861, 
Peisley and James Wilson were drinking at Benyon's Inn, 
about a mile from Bigga, when Peisley challenged William 
Benyon to run, jump, or fight for ^10. Benyon declined, 
and Peisley struck him several light blows on the chest and 
called him a coward, until at length Benyon said he would 
wrestle. They went into the yard, leaving Wilson, who was 
drunk, on the seat in the bar. Stephen Benyon, who was 
at work in the barn, and several others, collected in the 
yard to see the wrestling match. The men stripped, 
and grappled, and Peisley threw the publican and then 


struck him in the face. Stephen Benyon called Peisley a 
coward, rushed forward and threw Peisley. On getting up 
Peisley rushed into the house swearing he would " do for 
Bill." He seized a knife, when Mrs. Benyon cried out " My 
God ! are you going to kill my husband ?" and grappled with 
him. Stephen Benyon picked up a spade and struck Peisley 
on the arm. Peisley then threw away the knife and said it 
was all right. The row seemed to be all over and Peisley 
walked into the bar and asked Wilson where his vest was. 
He had taken it off when he went out to wrestle and left it 
beside Wilson. Wilson said he had not seen it. Then Mrs. 
Benyon announced that she had hidden it because she 
found two revolvers rolled up in it. She offered to tell 
Peisley where it was if he would promise to go away 
quietly. Peisley said all right, and Mrs. Benyon showed 
him where she had hidden the vest in the garden. Peisley 
walked out, picked the vest up from under a bush, and went 
back again. He began to examine the revolvers, when 
William Benyon said, "Surely you don't mean to shoot us?" 
" You never knew me do a mean action in my life," replied 
Peisley, " and I'm not going to begin now. Shake hands. 
We're all friends." They shook hands all round and Peisley 
put on his vest and went away. As soon as he was out of 
sight, William Benyon loaded his gun and took it to the 
barn, where his brother Stephen had returned to his work. 
William gave the gun to his brother and told him to take 
care of it, as Peisley was not to be trusted. About half-an-hour 
1 iter, when William Benyon was in the bar, Peisley came 
galloping back, hitched his horse to the fence, and went into 
the barn. Stephen Benyon picked up the gun and Peisley 
said, laughing, " Why, you're not going to shoot me, are 
you ? " "I was told you were going to shoot me," returned 
Stephen. " Nonsense," cried Peisley, " I never did a 
cowardly action in my life, and I'm not going to now. 
Shake hands." Stephen put the gun down and shook 
hands, and Peisley immediately seized the gun and fired, 
wounding Stephen in the arm. Stephen ran out of the 
barn and towards the house, and Peisley, taking careful aim, 
again pulled the trigger, but the cap missed fire. Peisley 
ran to the corner of the house, and asked William Benyon's 
son which way his uncle went. The child pointed in the 


wrong direction, and Peisley ran to the other corner of the 
house. Not seeing Stephen anywhere he returned. He 
was in a great rage, and struck a man named George 
Hammond with the gun, which exploded without doing any 
damage. Peisley threw the gun away, and drew a revolver. 
He ordered William Benyon, Wilson, Hammond, and the 
servant girl into the barn. Then he said to William, 
" I've got a bullet here for you. You've had your game, 
now it's my turn." The servant went between Benyon and 
Peisley, and begged the bushranger not to hurt her master. 
Peisley told her to go away unless she was tired of her life. 
Suddenly Benyon rushed at Peisley, who fired and wounded 
him in the neck, and as he fell Peisley rushed out to his 
horse, mounted, and galloped away. William Benyon died 
a week later, and a warrant was issued for the apprehension 
of Peisley, who left his house and joined the gang. On 
January isth Constables Morris, Murphy, and Simpson 
were searching for bushrangers in the Abercrombie 
Mountains, when they saw Peisley near Bigga. The bush- 
ranger was splendidly mounted. He rode up, and coolly 
informed the police that he was the man they were looking 
for. He added, " I'd like to have a turn up with Morris 
if he will get down, and put his gun aside." Morris 
replied, "All right," and immediately dismounted, and 
placed his gun against a tree, expecting his challenger 
to do the same. But Peisley laughed, turned his horse 
round, and cantered away. Morris drew a revolver from his 
belt and fired. The bullet passed just under the neck of 
the bushranger's horse. He turned in his saddle and said 
"That was a good one. Try again." The police gave 
chase, but the superiority of the bushranger's horse enabled 
him to escape easily About a week later Peisley was 
captured by Messrs. Mackenzie and Burridge after a severe 
struggle. He was tried at Bathurst, and sentenced to death 
for the murder of William Benyon, and was hung on April 
25th, 1862. When on the scaffold he said that he had 
never used violence during his bushranging career until he 
had had that row with Benyon He had never taken a 
shilling from or done violence to a woman. He denied 
that he had had anything to do with the attempt to 
bribe Constable Hosie to let Gardiner escape. He was 


aware that the money offered was $o. He also knew 
that there was a cheque for 2 los. in the collection, 
and that that made the amount up to ^50 IDS. He 
had spent five or six pounds in the spree at Benyon's. 
Wilson wanted him to sing and Benyon to dance, but he 
refused. Benyon then asked him to put on the gloves, 
but he declined because he knew it would lead to a row. 
At this point, said the Bathurst Free Press, one of the 
clergymen on the scaffold whispered to Peisley, and he 
immediately said that he would say no more on that subject. 
He concluded with " Good-bye, gentlemen. God bless 
you." Peisley did not appear to suffer much, but a black- 
fellow, known as Jacky Bullfrog, who was hanged at the 
same time for the murder of William Clarke, suffered 
terribly, his body being frightfully convulsed for several 
minutes. Peisley was twenty-eight years of age, five feet 
ten inches in height. He is described as a fine-looking 
man at a distance, but when examined closely there was 
a shifty, disagreeable look about his eyes. 

In April Gardiner, with three companions, stuck up 
Pring's Crowther station and then went on to Crooke's, and 
bailed up all hands there. At Pring's, one of the bush- 
rangers played the piano while the others danced. At 
Crooke's one played the concertina and another sang " Ever 
of thee." 

On March loth, Mr. Horsington, a store-keeper on the 
Wombat, was driving with his wife in a spring cart to 
Lambing Flat, and Mr. Robert Hewitt, store-keeper at Little 
Wombat, riding beside them. Suddenly, James Downey, 
with three other bushrangers, barred the road and ordered 
the travellers into the bush. The two store-keepers had a 
large quantity of gold with them which they had purchased 
in the course of business, and were taking to the bank at 
Lambing Flat, the main centre of the Burrangong Gold- 
field. Mr. Horsington had a parcel containing forty ounces 
in his pockets, and another of two hundred ounces in the 
cart. The robbers took some 1100 worth from Mr. 
Horsington in gold and money, and about ^700 worth 
from Mr. Hewitt. When pocketing the plunder, Downey 
said : " You're the best gentlemen I've met this month, and 
I've stuck up twenty already." 


Sergeant Sanderson, with detectives Lyons and Kennedy, 
left the Lachlan Goldfield (Forbes), on April nth, in charge 
of three bushrangers who had been arrested, and who were 
being taken to Burrangong for the police court examinations. 
Near Brewers' Shanty, three horsemen, with two led horses, 
were observed, and on seeing the coach these horsemen 
turned into the bush. The two detectives followed them on 
foot, when the horsemen turned round and fired. The 
police returned the fire, and the horses of two of the bush- 
rangers bolted. The third bushranger remained and fired 
again. The police replied and the bushranger fell. He 
was identified as a man named Davis. He had received 
four wounds, none of which was very serious. He was 
placed in the coach with the other prisoners, and was 
subsequently sentenced to death. This sentence was, 
however, commuted to imprisonment for life. 

It was at this time that the Burrangong and other papers 
in the disturbed area accused the Government of neglect in 
consequence of the non-arrival in the district of Captain 
Battye with his troop of black trackers. It was said that 
without this aid the police might ride round for months, but 
could not penetrate the ranges. No doubt this outcry had 
the effect of stirring up the authorities, because the blacks 
speedily arrived and were set to work without delay. 

The Lachlan Miner of April igth, 1862, inserted the 
following paragraph : 

" We have received the following letter, purporting to be from the 
hand of Frank Gardner (sic), the notorious highwayman, of Lachlan 
and Lambing Flat roads. The circumstances under which we became 
possessed of the documents can be known, and the original copies, with 
the envelopes and seals, seen by the curious, on application at this 
office, and they can then use what judgment they choose as to the 
genuineness of them. We give it to our readers as we received it : 
' To the Editor of the Burrangong Miner, Lambing Flat. Sir, 
Having seen a paragraph in one of the papers, wherein it is said that I 
took the boots off a man's feet, and that I also took the last few 
shillings that another man had, I wish it to be made known that I did 
not do anything of the kind. The man who took the boots was in my 
company, and for so doing I discharged him the following day. Silver 
I never took from a man yet, and the shot that was fired at the sticking- 
up of Messrs. Horsington and Hewitt was by accident, and the man 
who did it I also discharged. As for a mean, low, or petty action, I 
never committed it in my life. The letter that I last sent to the press, 
there had not half of what I said put in it. In all that has been said 


there never was any mention made of my taking the sergeant's horse 
and trying him, and that when I found he was no good I went back 
and got my own. As for Mr. Torpy, he is a perfect coward. After I 
spared his life as he fell out of the window, he fired at me as I rode 
away ; but I hope that Mr. Torpy and I have not done just yet, until 
we balance our accounts properly. Mr. Greig has accused me of 
robbing his teams, but it is false, for I know nothing about the 
robbery whatever. In fact I would not rob Mr. Greig or any one 
belonging to him, on account of his taking things so easy at 
Bogolong. Mr. Torpy was too bounceable or he would not have been 
robbed. A word 'to Sir W. F. Pottinger. He wanted to know how it 
was the man who led my horse up to me at the Pinnacle, did not cut 
my horse's reins, as he gave me the horse. I should like to know if 
Mr. Pottinger would do so? I shall answer by saying no. It has been 
snid that it would be advisable to place a trap at each shanty on the 
road, to put a stop to the depredations done on the road. I certainly 
think it would be a great acquisition to me, for I should then have 
increase of revolvers and carbines. When seven or eight men could do 
nothing with me at the Pinnacle, one would look well at a shanty. 
Three of your troopers were at a house the other night and got 
drinking and gambling till all hours. I came there towards morning 
when all was silent. The first room that I went into I found revolvers 
and carbines to any amount, but seeing none as good as my own, I 
left them. I then went out, and in the verandah found the troopers 
sound asleep, satisfying myself that neither Battye nor Pottinger were 
there, I left them as I found them, in the arms of Morpheus. Fearing 
nothing, I remain, Prince of Tobymen, Francis Gardner (sif), the 
Highwayman. Insert the foregoing, and rest satisfied you shall be 

The spelling of the name appears to be a typographical 
blunder. Mr. Torpy was a well-known resident of the 
district. This letter throws some light on the methods 
pursued by the bushrangers, and tends to prove that 
although Gardiner might not be present on some occasions, 
the robberies were committed under his directions. And 
some fresh outrage was reported almost every day, until in 
June, the report that the Government gold escort from the 
Lachlan diggings had been stuck up and robbed, caused a 
commotion throughout the colony. The escort started from 
Forbes on June i5th with 2067 oz. iSdwt. gold and ^700, 
owned by the Oriental Bank; 52ioz. i3dwt. 6grs., owned 
by the Bank of New South Wales, and 12902. and ^3000 
in cash, owned by the Commercial Banking Company, 
making about fourteen thousand pounds worth in all. 

The report of this robbery caused intense excitement 
throughout the colony. Nothing like it had been heard of 


since the old gold digging days in Victoria. Large bodies 
of police were sent out to scour the country near the scene 
of the outrage. One of these parties of police under 
Sergeant Saunderson, when in the ranges near Wheogo, saw 
a man on horseback who rode away as they approached. 
The police followed him up the steep gully, and when he 
was near the top four other men joined him from behind 
the trees and made off too. The police followed so rapidly 
that a packhorse which one of the men was leading broke 
away and they had not time to recover him. The police 
seized the packhorse, but the men got away. On the 
captured horse were found about isoooz. of gold, a police- 
man's cloak, and two carbines which were identified as 
having been among those with which the troopers of the 
escort had been armed. It may be remarked en passant 
that no more of the property stolen in this robbery was ever 

Some weeks later the police succeeded in apprehending 
Alexander Fordyce, John Bow, Henry Manns, John 
McGuire, and Daniel Charters, and these were committed 
for trial for having been concerned in the escort robbery. 
Charters turned approver, and his evidence given at the 
trial may be taken as a substantially true account of the 
method by which the robbery was effected; although, of 
course, due allowance must be made for the apparent efforts 
of the witness to minimise his own share in the crime. 

Charters lived with his parents at Humbug Creek and 
knew the country well. One day Frank Gardiner met him 
near the Pinnacle and compelled him to lead the way across 
the ranges to Eugowra. Johnny Gilbert and Alick Fordyce 
were driving several spare horses which the gang had 
collected. They camped near the Lachlan River and Gilbert 
went into the town of Forbes, the centre of the Lachlan 
River diggings. It was Sunday, and on his return to the 
camp Gilbert reported that he had had great difficulty in 
purchasing guns and an axe. There was only one store in 
the town in which guns were sold, and that was shut. He 
had knocked the store-keeper up, however, and persuaded 
him to supply him with what he wanted. On the next 
morning the gang rode as straight as possible across the 
ranges, Gilbert going ahead with Charters to cut the fences 


on Mr. Roberts' sheep run to enable them to pass through. 
They camped for the night between the Eugowra Rocks and 
Campbell's station. On the morning of June isth, 1862, 
they tied their horses to saplings near the camp and walked 
down to the rocks. Manns was sent to McGuire's shanty 
at the crossing place for a bottle of Old Tom, a loaf of bread, 
and some cooked meat. Fordyce took too much gin and 
went to sleep, and Gardiner shook him roughly and told him 

that if he didn't wake up he'd "cut his rations short." 

Later Gardiner sent Charters to see if the horses were all 
right, and told him to stop at the camp and mind them, 

adding "You're no good here. You're too frightened 

of your skin." Soon afterwards he heard firing and about 
an hour later the bushrangers came up leading the coach 
horses. They had packed the gold on these horses. They 
wiped out and reloaded their guns, and in doing so it was 
found that Fordyce's gun had not been discharged. Gardiner 

turned on the young man fiercely and said, " You 

coward, you were too much afraid to fire, you. I'll cut 

your rations short for this." They saddled up their 
horses and started across the ranges. 

The escort was under the command of Sergeant Condell. 
It left Forbes about noon, Constable John Fagan driving. 
The other constables were Henry Moran and William Havi- 
land. When they came to the Eugowra Rocks, near the 
crossing over Mandagery Creek, they found two bullock 
teams so placed across the road, which bends sharply as it 
approaches the ford, that the escort cart had to be driven 
close to the rocks. The teams belonged to two bullock 
drivers who had been made prisoners, and had evidently- 
been there for some time, as the bullocks were lying down 
chewing the cud. To pass these teams the coach had to 
approach the rocks at an angle, and as it was passing a 
volley was fired and Constable Moran fell. The horses, 
frightened at the noise and flash of the guns, bolted, but the 
cart was overturned through the wheels colliding with a 
spur of the rocks. This threw the other constables out and 
prevented them from making any effective resistance. As 
the cart capsized, seven armed men, dressed in red shirts and 
with their faces blackened, sprang from behind the rocks 
shouting, " Shoot the wretches." The police fired 


their carbines and then surrendered. The robbers having 
re-packed their plunder were led by Charters to the place 
from whence they had started, near the Pinnacle, where the 
gold and money was roughly divided, and the party 

Constable Moran had sufficiently recovered from his 
wound to be present at the trial and to give his evidence. 
The first jury disagreed and was discharged, but at the 
second trial on February 23rd, 1863, Fordyce, Bow, and 
Manns were convicted and sentenced to death. Charters 
was acquitted according to promise, and McGuire was also 
acquitted on the charge of being concerned in the robbery, 
but was afterwards convicted of aiding and abetting the 
bushrangers, and was sentenced to a term of imprisonment. 
Subsequently the capital sentences on Fordyce and Bow 
were commuted to imprisonment for life, and only Manns 
was hung. The execution was terribly bungled. The rope 
was too short for a tall, slim youth like Manns, and he 
struggled violently. Seeing no prospect of death within a 
reasonable time, Dr. West instructed the hangman to raise 
the body and let it drop again, and this proved effectual. 
The prolonged sufferings of the criminal must, however, 
have been very severe. 

From the date of this daring robbery the " Gardiner 
gang of bushrangers" was the principal topic of conversation 
in New South Wales. After a lull of several years a new 
era of bushranging had started, and it lasted altogether for 
about ten years before it was finally suppressed. For some 
time the robberies which were reported almost every day 
were all attributed to Frank Gardiner, but, as was subse- 
quently proved, unjustly. Gardiner had made his coup and 
retired, but it was some time before either the police or the 
public became aware of this fact. 


Johnny Gilbert ; His First Appearance in Australia ; Miscellaneous 
Bushranging Exploits ; Mr. Robert Lowe Makes a Stand ; Mr. 
Inspector Norton Captured by the Bushrangers ; A Plucky 
Black Boy; "Mine know it, Patsy Daly like it, Brudder ; " A 
Brave Boy ; O'Meally Shoots Mr. Barnes ; A Bootless Bush- 
ranger ; Capture of John Foley ; Something about the Foley 
Family ; Ben Hall. 

NEXT to Frank Gardiner, the man most frequently 
spoken of in connection with bushranging at this time was 
Johnny Gilbert, alias Roberts. He was one of the gang 
charged with assisting in the robbery of the gold escort at 
Eugowra Rocks, but who had not been captured. He was 
born in Canada, and emigrated with his uncle, John Davis, 
to Victoria, shortly after the discovery of gold there. Davis, 
it appears, soon became tired of gold digging, and went to 
Sydney, where he opened an hotel at Waverley. On April 
6th, 1854, he was found dead in his private room, and his 
nephew, then known as Roberts, about seventeen years of 
age, was arrested and charged with the murder. He was 
acquitted and left Sydney. He was arrested in the 
Goulburn district, some time later, charged with horse- 
stealing, and sent to gaol. He is supposed to have made 
acquaintance with Gardiner during their imprisonment on 
Cockatoo Island. Roberts made an attempt to escape from 
the island, but was re-captured and was punished by 
Captain McLerie, the visiting justice. When liberated, 
after having served his sentence, he disappeared for a time, 
and was next heard of in connection with the escort robber)'. 
It soon became evident to all thinking persons, that there 
were more bushrangers abroad than those connected with 
"the Gardiner gang." Robberies were reported almost 


every day, and over a wider range of country than it was 
possible for one gang to travel over. These robberies were 
of the most varied character. 

One day Henry Stephens, innkeeper, near Caloola, was 
in his bar when three men walked in and called for brandy. 
He served them. When they had drunk their liquors they 
went into the breakfast room and sat down. There were 
present at the table Mr. and Mrs. Stephens, Mr. Young, 
and the three strangers. While the meal was progressing 
one of the strangers went out. He returned almost 
immediately, pistol in hand, driving the man servant in 
before him. Mr. Stephens jumped up, exclaiming " Hullo, 
what's up now?" when the bushranger fired and shot 
him in the mouth. The other two visitors rose, and 
ordered Mrs. Stephens to "hand out the cash." As she 
refused they searched everywhere, breaking open boxes, 
smashing the furniture, and even refusing to allow the poor 
woman to lift her baby from its overturned^ cradle, under 
which it was in danger of being smothered. They took 
away about 20 in cash, and a few small articles. As soon 
as they left Mr. Stephens was conveyed to the hospital at 
Bathurst for surgical treatment. Of course this outrage was 
attributed to "Gardiner's gang," but it was subsequently 
proved that the robbers had no connection with the 

On December loth, 1862, Charles Foley and John 
Brownlow robbed Daniel O'Brien's inn at Laggan. 
Another man stood on guard at the door. They tied Mr. 
and Mrs. O'Brien, and put a bag over O'Brien's head to 
prevent him from calling out. Foley searched the place, 
but only succeeded in finding "ten bob." Mrs. O'Brien, 
hoping to induce them to leave quietly, offered to give them 
4 i os. which she had in her pocket, but Foley said "We 
want more than that." They ransacked the place, and at 
last found a roll of about fifty ,1 notes which Mr. O'Brien 
had thrown among some empty casks in a back room on 
seeing them approaching the place. As they were well- 
known in the district they were soon arrested, and on 
February gth, 1863, were sentenced to seven years' penal 

At the same Sessions, Alexander and Charles Ross and 


William O'Connor were convicted of the attack on Mr. 
Stephens. They had also robbed Mr. William Webb's 
store at Fish River, and committed some other outrages. 
They were condemned to death and were hung in March, 

George Willison and Frederick Britton stuck up the 
Hartley mail near the Woodside Inn, about five miles from 
Bathurst, on November i6th, 1862. The driver, Owen 
Malone, and a passenger, Arundell Everett, were taken off 
the road, their hands tied behind them, and they were 
laid on the ground on their faces while the robbers searched 
the letters. While thus lying side by side, Everett 
whispered to his companion, " Let's make a rush." Malone 
however prudently declined, saying, " What could we do 
with our hands tied behind us ? We'd only get shot." 
The robbers took about ^"1500 in notes from the letters 
and immediately mounted and rode into Bathurst to 
exchange them. They were too late, however. News of 
the robbery had reached the town, and they were arrested in 
the Union Bank while cashing the notes. They were 
sentenced to sixteen years' penal servitude, the first three 
years in irons. A companion who had kept watch while 
the mail was being robbed escaped. 

The mail coach was stuck up near Mount Victoria by 
Charles and James Mackay and George Williams. There 
was nothing remarkable about the robbery, but the bush- 
rangers were _ closely followed and were captured in a few 
days. The two brothers Mackay were sentenced to fifteen 
years' and Williams to ten years' imprisonment. 

On January 7th, 1863, the Yass Courier announced that 
during the week the Binalong mail had been again robbed, 
and Woodward, the driver, left bound to a tree. He begged 
hard not to be left to perish miserably through thirst, but 
the robbers laughed and rode away. He was released by a 
shepherd who happened to hear him cooeying. He was 
much exhausted. The robbers took ^24 IDS. and a penny- 
weight nugget. On the same day Samuel William Jacobsen, 
hawker, was stuck up near the Wedden Mountains by John 
Healy, who ordered him to "bail up and be quick about it 

unless you want your brains blown out." Jacobsen 

and his assistant, Henry Clok, were stripped and told to 


remain where they were for an hour under penalty of death. 
Their clothes were given back to them after having been 
searched. They dressed, and when they judged that the 
time allowed them had expired their watches had been 
taken away with other property they walked on. They 
followed the track of their waggon and came up to it about 
three miles away. The horses had been turned loose and 
were feeding near. All the drawers and boxes in the waggon 
had been broken open and ransacked, and everything of 
value had been stolen. 

During the week ending April 2 2nd, 1863, a large 
number of people were stuck up and robbed on the road 
between Marengo and Burrangong. One of them, William 
Oakes, a store-keeper, was going on his usual round among 
the Fish River farms to purchase fowls, eggs, butter, and 
other produce for his store. He was successful in hiding 
his money, but the robbers emptied his horse feed out on 
the ground, ripped open the saddles and collars of his 
horses, and broke all the boxes in the cart in their attempts 
to find it. 

On January i4th a woman was stopped at the Cherry 
Tree Hill, and asked for her money. She refused to give it 
up. The robbers tried to search her, but, being unable to 
find her pocket, they tore the skirt off, and, in spite of her 
cries, carried it away, leaving her to get home without it. 
They got about ^3 in notes and silver. These fellows 
stuck up the Mudgee mail about an hour later. There 
were two passengers on board, a man and a woman. The 
man refused to give up his money, when one of the bush- 
rangers said, " If you don't hand it out we'll strip the 
woman." As he hesitated the ruffian began to tear off her 
clothes. The man yielded. It is satisfactory to know that 
the amount obtained was small. 

On April 3rd the Cassilis mail was stuck up at Reedy 
Creek, near Mudgee, by two armed men. One of them 
remarked, after the letters had been gone through, "This 
mail never has nothing in it." Mr. Farrell, schoolmaster at 
Cassilis, who was riding beside the coach when it was 
stopped, was robbed of his gold watch and some money. 
He was also forced to exchange his horse, saddle, and 
bridle, for a knocked up horse and a very dilapidated 


saddle and bridle. On the following day Mr. Robert Lowe 
was driving in a buggy from Talbragar to Mudgee in 
company with Hugh McKenzie, who was on horseback, 
when two armed men ordered them to " bail up." 
Mr. Lowe snatched his gun from the bottom of the 
buggy, and fired. The bushrangers wheeled round and 
rode away, but had not gone far when one of them 
threw up his arms and fell. Lowe and McKenzie 
went over to him with the intention of taking him 
to the nearest town for treatment, but he died almost 
immediately. The two gentlemen then continued their 
journey to Slapdash, where they gave information to the 
police and were informed that Messrs. A. Brown, J.P., and 
Alexander Dean had just reported that they had been 
robbed near the same place by two men, one of whom 
was riding Mr. Farrell's horse. Sergeant Cleary and a 
trooper with two black trackers, Tommy and Johnny Bein 
Bar, followed the other bushranger for 260 miles and 
caught him near Coonamble. He was brought to Mudgee, 
tried and convicted, and sent to gaol for ten years. At the 
inquest on the man Heather a verdict of justifiable homicide 
was returned, and Mr. Lowe was highly complimented for 
his prompt action. He was afterwards awarded a gold 
medal by the New South Wales Government for his bravery 
in resisting bushrangers. 

One day Master Willie Cadell was sent by his mother 
on a message a short distance away from Mudgee. He 
walked his pony up the hill outside the township, and was 
about to start in a canter when a mounted man dashed in 
front and shouted " Stop." The pony was frightened by the 
shout and bolted for a short distance, the bushranger 
galloping alongside threatening the boy with instant death 
if he did not pull up. At length the pony was brought 
under control, when the robber said, " I don't want to hurt 
you, but you must come with me." He led the boy to a 
clump of trees where Mr. Smith, of Appletree Flat, and two 
other men were lying tied on the ground. The bushranger 
told Willie that he would not tie him if he promised not to 
run away, adding, " If you break your word I'll put a 
bullet through you." The boy promised and went and sat 
down on a fallen tree. The bushranger took Willie's pony 


" to spare " his own horse. As he walked past Mr. Smith, 
he gave the tied man a kick, and said roughly, "You 
stopped me robbing the mail before, but I'll keep you quiet 
this time." He mounted the pony and went back to the 
road. Presently he returned with two other men whom he 
tied and robbed. He fired several shots from his revolver 
at a mark on a tree, "for practice" as he told Willie Cadell. 
Then he went back to the road again. He soon returned 
with two more men, who were treated as the others had 
been. There were now seven men and a boy held 
prisoners under the clump of trees by one man. The 
robber had also stopped Mr. Robinson, with two stock- 
riders, and had ordered them to round up the mob of fat 
cattle they were driving and remain on the flat until after 
the mail passed. Occasionally he would say to his 
prisoners : " The mail will soon be here now ; then you 
can all go." He kept continually riding from the road to 
where his prisoners were and back. About half-an-hour 
after capturing his last two prisoners the mail coach turned 
off the road and came into the clump of timber, the bush- 
ranger riding behind and directing the driver where to go. 
There were four male and two female passengers. The 
women were told to go under a tree, and to " sit down and 
be quiet." The men were searched and tied. Then the 
bushranger coolly sat down and went through the letters. 
When he had finished he mounted the pony, and took the 
bridle of his own horse in his hand. " Youngster," he said 
to Willie Cadell, " you'll find your pony by the road." He 
then rode away. Young Cadell, who had replied "All 
right," began to untie the prisoners as soon as the robber 
was outside the clump. When all were loosed they 
walked out to the road. The pony was hitched to a 
tree and the robber seated on his own horse was waiting a 
short distance away. He asked them whether they were all 
right, and on being answered in the affirmative, raised his 
hat politely, said, "Good evening, ladies and gentle- 
men," and cantered away. The mail-man stopped to gather 
up the torn and scattered letters, while Messrs. Smith and 
Martin walked to Mudgee to inform the police, and Willie 
Cadell cantered away to perform the errand on which his 
mother had sent him. 


The coolness with which this robber had acted through- 
out induced the belief among the public that he was no 
common amateur bushranger, but a member of the Gardiner 
gang. In fact it was said that he was no other than Johnny 
Gilbert himself. The Goulburn Chronicle reported about 
this time that Gardiner and his gang had paid a visit to the 
Muswellbrook district, and suggested that one of them had 
committed this robbery on the way back to their own 
district. This, however, was disproved later, and it was then 
believed that the robber was one of the numerous young 
men who " turned out " with the intention of joining the 
gang and endeavoured to do something on the road to 
prove themselves worthy of being accepted as comrades by 
the redoubtable bushrangers. It was the custom of the 
time to attribute all highway robberies to Gardiner and his 
gang, but it is doubtful whether any of those recorded in 
this chapter so far were perpetrated by actual members of 
the gang. It was a time of intense excitement, and many of 
the more or less criminally disposed among the youth of the 
colony felt themselves impelled to take to the road and rob 
somebody. Some of these were captured ; others were 
disillusionised and went back to their farms ; while others 
either did join the gang or continued bushranging as 
independent parties. The next story, published a few days 
later, was that of the sticking up of the Mudgee mail 
on the Bathurst-Sydney Road, near the Big Hill, about 
sixteen miles from Bowenfels. Mr. Henry Edward Kater, 
manager of the local branch of the Australian Joint 
Stock Bank, was a passenger, and he had with him 
^"5000 worth of old notes, which he was taking to 
Sydney to be destroyed at the head office of the bank 
The bushrangers had received notice from some source that 
these notes were on the coach, and asked for them. Mr. 
Kater replied that they were valueless, as the numbers had 
been cancelled. " Never mind," replied the bushranger. 
" We can make a bonfire of them as well as you can." Mr. 
Kater declined to give them up, and stooped down. The 
bushranger immediately ordered him to " sit up straight 
and not try to come Robert Lowe on them," or he would 
be sorry for it. This, of course, was an allusion to the 
recent shooting of the man Heather by Mr. Lowe, as 


already related. Mrs. Smith, wife of a publican at Ben 
Bullen, who was a passenger on the coach, was very much 
alarmed. She was seated beside Mr. Kater, and screamed 
loudly. She had ^200 in her pocket. The robber told 
her to get down and stand aside, adding, "We don't rob 
women." She was only too glad to obey. She sat down 
on a log beside the road. The other passengers were then 
ordered to dismount, and were eased of their valuables. 
When this duty had been discharged the robbers departed, 
one of them turning back to request Mr. Kater to ask 
Captain Norton whether "his spurs were getting rusty." 
The robbers were well-dressed and splendidly mounted. 
No doubt was entertained anywhere that they belonged to 
Gardiner's gang. A reward of ^500 was offered by the 
Joint Stock Bank for the recovery of the cancelled notes. 

In recording the principal robberies committed at this time 
by bushrangers who were not known certainly to belong to 
the gang, I have necessarily omitted to mention the robberies 
effected by the gang itself. It is now, therefore, time to 
return to the beginning of the year and take up the history 
of the gang itself. On New Year's Day, 1863, races were 
being held at Brisbane Valley on the Fish River, when 
Frederick Lowry and John Foley made a daring attempt to 
stick up the crowd, numbering more than one hundred 
persons. A man named Foran refused to be tied when 
called on to come out and was immediately shot by Lowry. 
Although he was wounded in the lungs Foran rushed 
forward and grappled with Lowry. Several other men came 
to his assistance, and Lowry was overpowered, while Foley, 
who had been engaged in tying the men, jumped on his 
horse and got away. Lowry was locked up in a room 
behind the bar of the publican's booth, but the booth was a 
mere shell, and he contrived to escape before the police 

On February 27th Mr. Cirkel, publican at Stony Creek, 
Burrangong, was called out of his house and shot dead, 
after having been accused of having given information to 
the police. It was said that the men who committed this 
crime were Gardiner, Gilbert, O'Meally, and another whose 
name was not known. O'Meally was said to have fired the 
fatal shot. The party of bushrangers rode on to Mr. Myers 


Solomon's store at the " Big Wombat." Mr. Solomon, seeing 
them coming, attempted to run away, but was followed and 
brought back. A lad in the store vaulted over the counter 
and snatched a pistol from the belt of one of the bush- 
rangers while the dispute was going on as to whether 
Solomon should be shot for attempting to " betray " them to 
the police. Another of the bushrangers immediately put 
his pistol to Mrs. Solomon's head and said to the boy, " If 
you fire I'll blow her brains out." The boy looked 
undecided. The bushranger cocked his pistol and swore 
that if the boy did not return the weapon he had taken the 
woman should die. The boy then stepped forward, laid the 
revolver on the counter, and said, " If it wasn't for Mrs. 
Solomon I'd stop your run anyhow." He was imme- 
diately knocked down and kicked. 

The Lachlan Observer of March 5th reported that Mr. 
Inspector Norton, who had recently relieved Sir Frederick 
Pottinger as head of the police force in the district, had 
been captured by the bushrangers. Captain Norton had 
been in pursuit of the robbers, and was returning from a 
long ride through the ranges, accompanied only by a black 
tracker known as Billy Durgan. On Sunday, ist instant, 
he came suddenly on a camp some three or four miles from 
Wheogo. Billy, who was riding behind leading a spare 
horse, saw the fire first, and shouted " Here they are." 
Three of the bushrangers sprang up, mounted their horses, 
and came towards the officer. Billy advised him to " bolt," 
but the captain shook his head and replied "No good, 
Billy. Horse too much knock up." " Mine stop it too," 
said Billy. O'Meally and Patrick Daly fired as they 
approached, and Norton returned the fire until his revolver 
was empty, when he said " I surrender." Daly cried 
"Throw down your arms," and as Norton threw away his 
revolver another man galloped up and fired at him. At 
that moment Billy, the black boy, seeing the danger Norton 
was in, gave a yell, jumped off his horse, and threw his 
empty pistol in the bushranger's face. By this plucky act 
Billy no doubt saved Captain Norton's life, but the bush- 
ranger turned and fired at the black. Billy, however, 
kicked off his boots, sprang behind a tree, and shouted 
"Come on, you ." "O'Meally replied, "We'll wallop 


you, you young , when we catch you." At which threat 

Billy laughed, and replied " You catchem first." Daly and 
the other bushranger chased him, but Billy dodged about 
from tree to tree with all the agility of the black, pelting 
sticks at them, and laughingly telling them to " come on." 
The bushrangers fired at him several times, but with no 
effect, and at length gave up the chase and returned to 
where O'Meally was still guarding Captain Norton. After a 
consultation aside the bushrangers told the captain that 
they had mistaken him for Trooper Holliston. They 
intended to " do for " the trooper the first time they caught 
him. They detained the captain for about three hours, 
treating him very civilly, and then released him. 

A few days later, Daly was arrested by Sir Frederick 
Pottinger. He was a native of the district, under twenty 
years of age. When brought up and charged at the police 
court, Captain Norton failed to identify him, but Billy 
Durgan exclaimed, when called upon for his evidence : 
"Mine know it, Patsy Daly like it brudder." Daly was 
placed on trial for having, in company with others, robbed 
Myers Solomon, store-keeper, of property, including money, 
horses, guns, revolvers, clothing, food, &c., to a large 
amount. George Johnson identified Daly as the man who 
had knocked the boy down and kicked him when he placed 
the revolver on the counter. Johnson called Daly a coward, 
and was told to keep quiet unless he wanted his " 
brains blown out." Johnson replied : " I'd like to meet you 
man to man fairly." Another of the bushrangers asked : 
" Will you stand up and fight me if I give you a pistol ? " 
Johnson replied, " Yes," and stepped forward. The third 
bushranger, however, ordered him back, and told his mates 
to "quit fooling." Johnson and the other men in the store 
were then made, to lie on their faces, with a bushranger over 
them on guard, while the other bushrangers selected what 
they wanted, packed it in bundles, and strapped it on the 
pack horses. While thus employed, the bushranger who 
had challenged Johnson kicked him in the ribs savagely, 
and told him to keep still. The other persons present gave 
their versions of the occurrence, but they differed little from 
what has been recorded above. Daly was convicted, and 
was sentenced to fifteen years' penal servitude. 


On March 3oth, two men called at James Brown's hut 
at Wallenbeen and asked for something to eat. Brown told 
his wife to give them some breakfast. It may be necessary 
to remark that such hospitality is common in Australia. 
Having eaten as much as they required, the travellers 
demanded Brown's hat and boots. After some dispute 
these were handed over. The boots were too small, and 
the man who wanted them took out his pocket-knife to cut 
them, when his mate said, " Oh, come on ; we'll get plenty 
at McKay's." They left the boots, went out, mounted their 
horses, and rode away. They had only gone a few yards 
when they met Mr. Barnes, a store-keeper at Cootamundra, 
and his assistant, Mr. Hanlow, who was in charge of a 
branch store at Murrumburrah. The travellers ordered 
Barnes to " bail up." Barnes said, " I know you, O'Meally," 

and O'Meally replied, " I know you, you . Get off 

that horse ; I want him." Barnes wheeled his horse round 
and galloped away, and O'Meally followed. They galloped 
round the hill, back past the stockyard, and then down the 
gully out of sight among the trees. In the meantime, 
Hanlow was conducted by the other bushranger off the 
road to the stockyard, where they were soon joined by 
O'Meally. "Where's Mr. Barnes?" asked Hanlow, as the 
robber rode up. "Down there," replied O'Meally non- 
chalantly, pointing down the gully. "You haven't shot 
him?" inquired Hanlow anxiously. "Oh, no," replied 
the bushranger coolly, "he hit himself against a tree and 
tumbled off." Mr. Alexander McKay, the squatter who 
owned the stockyard, and whose house was not far away, 
had heard the galloping and shouting, and went on to the 
verandah of his house to ascertain the cause of the noise. It 
was then about half-past eleven a.m., and the day was Sunday. 
He saw one man chasing another, and thought it was a 
trooper after a bushranger. He watched them gallop down 
the gully, and saw the one he took to be a trooper shoot the 
other, and then wheel his horse round and gallop back 
without waiting to see whether the man who had fallen 
off his horse was dead or not. As O'Meally came 
nearer McKay recognised him, and his suspicions were 
aroused. He started to walk down the gully to the 
wounded man, when he was stopped by O'Meally who 


ordered him to go back and open the store, adding, " I 
want some boots and clothes for my mate. He lost 
his in a brush with the traps." Mr. McKay went to the 
store and gave O'Meally the things he had asked for. 
The bushranger then said he wanted fresh horses. McKay 
replied that the horses were never brought in on a Sunday 
and therefore he could not get them. "Ah," said O'Meally, 
" I had Chance from you. He was a good 'un. Well, I'll 
come some other time and get one." The bushrangers then 
went away and McKay and Hanlow walked down the gully 
to where Barnes was lying. They found that he was quite 
dead, and sent word to the nearest police station. An 
inquest was held next day, and a verdict of wilful murder 
was returned against O'Meally and another man whose 
name was unknown. 

A day or two later Mr. Frank was riding from Lambing 
Flat (Burrangong) to Yass, when he was stopped by seven 
men whose faces were hidden by black crape veils. They 
ordered him to " shell out." " I've only thirty bob, boys," 
he replied. One of the robbers said " Oh, keep it. You'll 
want that to take you home again." Some of the others said 
that they knew him and he wasn't " a bad sort," so he could 
go. They asked him if he had seen any police on the road, 

and added that they wished to " meet the traps." After 

several minutes spent in conversation they rode off and Mr. 
Frank continued his journey. 

Shortly after this Constables McDonald, Lee, and 
Nicholls traced John Foley to Mackay's Hotel, Campbell's 
River, with the aid of a black tracker. McDonald pushed 
the door of the bedroom in which he was told 
Foley had been sleeping, but the man inside leaned 
heavily against it to prevent it from being opened. 
After a struggle McDonald forced his revolver through 
the opening and fired round the corner. He did not hit 
the man inside, but the shot forced him to give way a little. 
The constable said, " Come along, Foley. We've got you. 
You can't get away." After a moment's pause Foley replied, 
" All right. Don't shoot." He stepped back and the door 
swung open. The police rushed in and handcuffed him. 
He was taken to Bathurst, where he was charged with having 
looted Mrs. Anne Webb's store at Mutton Falls, and with 


having aided and abetted other bushrangers in several 
robberies on the highway and elsewhere. During the trial 
it was noticed that Mrs. Foley, the prisoner's mother, was 
passing in and out of the court and communicating with the 
witnesses who had been ordered out of court. She was 
cautioned, but as she persisted in spite of the efforts of the 
police, she was ordered to be locked up for contempt of 
court. Timothy Foley, a brother of the accused, was also 
committed for contempt of court, and was threatened with 
prosecution for perjury for his attempts to prove an alibi. 
The prisoner was convicted and was sentenced to fifteen 
years' imprisonment, the first three years in irons. Another 
brother, Francis Foley, was sentenced at the same sessions 
to ten years' imprisonment for having raided the Chinese 
Camp at Campbell's River. Henry Gibson was also 
arraigned for bushranging. He admitted that he had been 
overseer on Ben Hall's station, but denied that he had ever 
joined Gardiner's gang. He was acquitted by the jury, and 
the verdict was received with some applause. As soon as 
order had been restored, the judge remarked that it would 
perhaps add to the general satisfaction if he informed the 
court that the prisoner would not go free in spite of his 
acquittal. He had before him a document which proved 
that the prisoner was an escaped convict from Victoria, and 
would therefore be detained until he could be returned to 
that colony to finish his sentence. 

Hitherto the gang had continued to be known as 
" Gardiner's Gang," although it had been repeatedly asserted 
in the press that Gardiner had taken no share in the later 
robberies, and that in fact he had retired from " the 
profession " several months ago. It was said that notwith- 
standing the vigilance of the police, Gardiner had succeeded 
in escaping from New South Wales, taking with him the 
wife of a respectable farmer in the Burrangong district 
named Brown. The reports, however, were very contradic- 
tory. Sometimes it was said that he had gone to New 
Zealand. Then that he had made his way to California or 
to South America. In the meantime the gang continued to 
be as active as ever under the leadership of Johnny Gilbert 
and Ben Hall. 


Racers as Mounts for the Bushrangers ; The Shooting of Lowry ; The 
Bushrangers visit Bathnrst ; They hold the Town of Canowindra 
for Three Days ; Burke Shot by Mr. Keightley ; Female Bush- 
rangers ; Death of O'Meally at Goimbla ; A Newspaper Man and 
his Wife Stuck Up ; Lively Times During the Christmas Holidays. 

THE chief necessity for a successful career as a bushranger 
was a good supply of race-horses, and hence it was almost 
impossible for any person to keep a really valuable saddle 
horse during this " Reign of Terror," as the newspapers of 
the district called it. Special raids were organised by 
members of the gang to obtain a supply of horses, and the 
bushrangers frequently travelled upwards of two hundred 
miles to secure a horse which had made a name on the turf. 
Thus on May i8th Harry Wilson, trainer for Mr. Allen 
Hancock, was exercising the racer Jacky Morgan, within 
sight of the police station in the town of Burrowa, when 
Gilbert rode up and said " I want that horse." " For 
God's sake don't ruin me, Johnny," exclaimed the jockey. 

" Hold your jaw and get off," was the reply, as the 

bushranger brought out his ready revolver. The robber 
specially cautioned Wilson not to " sing out " so that the 
police could hear, or he'd " be sorry for it,'' and in spite of 
his remonstrances the jockey was compelled to dismount 
and walk home to inform his employer. Mr. Hancock told 
him to saddle another horse. He then took down his gun 
carefully, wiped and loaded it, and went away swearing that 
he would never return until he had recovered Jacky 

Gilbert also took a racer out of Mr. Hammond's 
stables at Junee. He stole the racers Chinaman and 
Micky Hunter from the stables of Mr. J. Roberts at 


Currawang. When leading Micky Hunter out of his 

stall Gilbert patted his neck and said, " You're the 

cove we want." Old Comus and several other horses 
were taken out of Mr. Iceley's stables at Coombing. 
The old horse had had a good career on the course, and 
had been set apart for stud purposes, and Mr. Icely offered a 
large sum to the bushrangers to leave him alone, but 
Gilbert said, "There's a good gallop in him yet," and led 
him away. But the bushrangers did not devote their whole 
time to capturing race horses. Robberies on the highway 
continued as frequently as usual. The police, however, were 
not idle. In August, Sergeant James Stephenson, Constable 
Herbst, and Detectives Camphin and Saunderson traced 
Lowry to Thomas Vardy's, Limerick Races Hotel, at Cook's 
Vale Creek. When asked if there were any lodgers there, 
Vardy pointed to the door of one of the bedrooms and 
replied, "Yes, one there." Stephenson knocked at the door, 
but there was no reply. The sergeant knocked again and 
called out " Come out Lowry, it's no use." As no answer 
was returned, the sergeant placed his shoulder against the 
door, and tried to burst it open. Immediately some one 
inside fired a pistol, the bullet from which passed through 
the panel of the door between the two policemen. 
Stephenson again called on Lowry to come out or it would 
be " the worse for him," and the bushranger replied " I'll 

fight you, you . All of you." He again fired through 

the door, and the bullet wounded one of the police horses 
tied to the verandah. Sergeant Stephenson called on 
Vardy to take the horses to a safe place, and when 
they were out of sight, he and Constable Herbst again tried 
to force the door by leaning their combined weight against it. 
Suddenly Lowry threw the door open, and the sergeant 
almost fell into the room. The bushranger shouted " Come 
on, you - I'll fight you fair," and fired. The police 
returned the fire. Stephenson, who was inside the room, 
took steady aim and pulled the trigger. The robber 
fell, saying " I'm done for ! Where's the priest ? " 
The police arrested Vardy and all his family, as well 
as a man named Larry Cummins, who was in the 
room with Lowry, but who took no part in the fight. 
When this ceremony had been completed, Lowry was 


made as comfortable as circumstances permitted while 
a messenger was sent off to the nearest town for a doctor. 
For more than an hour detective Camphin sat by Lowry's 
side reading prayers from a Catholic prayer-book which 
Mrs. Vardy lent him. The robber gradually grew weaker 
and died. His last words were, " Tell 'em I died game." 
The police borrowed a cart from a farmer who lived about 
a mile away from the hotel, and the body was placed in it, 
covered with a blanket, and started away for Goulburn, 
where this extraordinary funeral cortege arrived the next 
day, Sunday, just as the people were leaving the churches. 

Frederick Lowry was a native of the district, twenty- 
seven years of age, and six feet two inches in height. 

In the New South Wales Legislative Assembly, on 
August 1 8th, 1863, Mr., afterwards Sir James, Martin moved 
that " the alarming state of insecurity of life and property 
which has so long prevailed through the country districts is 
in a high degree discreditable to Her Majesty's Ministers in 
this colony." Mr., afterwards Sir Charles, Cowper, speaking 
for the Government, said that the police authorities had full 
power to take all the troopers that could be spared from the 
more thickly-populated districts to the disturbed area. The 
discussion on the motion lasted for a week, when it was 
negatived by forty-four to eighteen votes. The Government 
was in fact doing all that it could reasonably be expected 
to do to preserve order, and this was generally recognised, 
although the Press continued to urge that more energetic 
measures should be adopted, and bushranging stamped out 
at any cost. The success of the bushrangers was largely 
due to the nature of the country, with the features 
of which they were perfectly familiar. Had. there 
been double the number of police in the district it is 
barely probable that the outbreak could have been put 
down much more quickly than it was. The police showed 
remarkable bravery, but they were unable to follow the 
bushrangers into the ranges, with the intricacies of which they 
were unacquainted. It was not the number of bushrangers, 
but their activity, boldness, and more than all their intimate 
knowledge of the country, which enabled them to keep so 
extensive an area of the colony in a ferment for so long a 


The Carcour mail was stuck up at about a mile outside 
the town of Blaney on September 23rd. A passenger named 
Garland refused to "hand out" when ordered. He was told 
that if he persisted in his refusal he would "get a good 
hiding." One bushranger stood by his side holding a gun 
close to Garland's head, while another bushranger felt his 
pockets. They took out two ;i notes. The coach was 
then taken up the ridge to about 300 yards from the road. 
Here there was a level spot fairly clear of timber, and in this 
little plain were eight men sitting in a ring with a robber 
standing on guard over them. The coach-driver and the 
two passengers were ordered to take their seats in the ring 
while the letters were searched. They obeyed, and were 
detained more than an hour. One of the prisoners in the 
ring was a trooper. When the mail had been gone through 
the bushrangers, one of whom was riding Mr. Daniel Mayne's 
horse Retriever, told them they might go. Garland said 
" It's no use going without any money," whereupon a bush- 
ranger handed him ten shillings and told him not to growl. 
It was about five o'clock p.m. when the bushrangers rode off. 
They were said to be Gilbert, O'Meally, Burke, and another. 

A few days later Gilbert and O'Meally went to a cattle 
station some miles from Burrangong and rounded up the 
horses. A stock-rider galloped up and ordered them to 
desist. Gilbert told him that they were troopers and had 
orders from Her Majesty the Queen to take any horses they 
required. The stockman then assisted them to catch *wo of 
the best. 

On Saturday, October 23rd, Hall, Gilbert, O'Meally, 
Burke, and Vane walked into Mr. Perdrotta's gunsmith's 
shop in William Street, Bathurst, opposite the School of 
Arts, and asked to see some revolvers. They were shown 
a number, but said they were common things and no good. 
Mr. Perdrotta said he had sold out. There had been a run 
on revolvers lately on account of the bushrangers, but he 
expected a new stock up from Sydney in a few days. The 
robbers laughed heartily, and said that the bushrangers 
required to be looked after. They promised to call 
again in a few days. They walked up the street to 
McMinn's Hotel, and went in as the family were 
sitting down to tea. Miss McMinn recognised them 


and screamed. She was ordered to keep quiet, but as this 
made her scream louder the bushrangers left. The report 
that the bushrangers were in the town spread like wild-fire, 
and the streets were crowded with excited people in a few 
minutes. It was rumoured that the bushrangers had robbed 
Mr. De Clouett, in Piper Street, and that De Clouett had 
recognised Johnny Gilbert as a jockey who had ridden for 
him some years before. The police hastily armed and 
mounted, when suddenly the bushrangers, mounted on their 
horses, with revolvers in their hands, dashed through the 
crowd in Howick Street, shouting, " Two of us is good for 

forty troopers." The crowd scattered to let them pass. 

The bushrangers rode through the street at a gallop and left 
the town in the direction of the timbered country, avoiding 
the roads. The police followed close behind, but the 
bushrangers had the faster horses and got away. 

On October lyth, Mr. Robinson, of Robinson's Hotel, 
Canowindra, was awakened at about 1.30 a.m. by a loud 
knocking. He went to the door and asked, " Who's 
there ? " The reply was, " The police." Robinson opened 
the door and was immediately ordered to " bail up." The 
visitors were Hall, Gilbert, and O'Meally, the bushrangers. 
Mr. Robinson gave them ^3, which he took from a drawer, 
and said that was all the money he had in the house. He 
begged them to go away. They refused, and insisted on 
every one in the house getting up at once. After some 
delay the family and Mr. Kieran Cummings, a lodger, were 
collected in the dining-room. The bushrangers took charge 
and served out drinks all round. When time for opening 
the house came, the bushrangers stationed themselves, one 
at each end of the verandah and the third in the bar. They 
bailed up fourteen bullock-drivers who were camped near 
the township, and compelled them to leave their teams in 
the street as they arrived. The robbers took anything they 
required or fancied from the drays and marched the drivers 
into the dining-room of the hotel. During the morning, 
Messrs. Hibberson, Twaddell, and Kirkpatrick drove up to 
the hotel in a buggy. They were compelled to alight and 
go into the dining-room. Ben Hall, seeing that Mr. Kirk- 
patrick carried a revolver, requested him to "oblige by 
handing that thing over. Not that we want it, you know ; 


but it might go off by accident." Mr. Kirkpatrick laughed, 
and gave him the weapon. Hall examined it carefully and 
said, " We've got better than that. We'll leave it for you 
at Louden's, at Grubbenbong, so that you may get it when 
you pass." Mrs. Robinson and the cook were released and 
ordered to get a " first-class dinner for the gentlemen, and 
we'll pay for it." The prisoners were well treated. Food 
was brought in at intervals, and bottles of brandy were 
placed on the table for all to help themselves as they pleased. 
Several boxes of cigars were ordered, and these were opened 
and the cigars thrown along the table. Robinson had 
promised not to " try any hanky panky," and was allowed to 
go to the bar. Everything ordered was paid for without 
delay or dispute. Gilbert walked to the lock-up, called out 
the solitary policeman who was stationed in the town, and 
made him march down to the hotel. Here he was given 
his musket, and ordered to pace up and down before the 
verandah as if on sentry duty. When they grew tired of 
showing their contempt for " the force " in this manner the 
gun was taken away and the policeman conducted into the 
dining-room and placed with the other prisoners to " enjoy 
himself like the rest." The robbers drank very little them- 
selves. Occasionally they ordered a bottle of English beer, 
and drew the cork themselves after having examined it 
carefully to make sure that it had not been tampered with. 
On the Wednesday morning Mr. Hibberson begged hard to 
be allowed to go. He said that he and his friends had 
enjoyed themselves very much, and would have been willing 
to stay longer to oblige, but the river was beginning to rise, 
and if it came down as usual at that time of the year they 
might not be able to cross for a month. This would 
interfere seriously with their business. The bushrangers 
listened to this plea, and then withdrew. After a consulta- 
tion which lasted several minutes, Hall came back, and said 
they thought it was " a fair thing." They were very much 
obliged to the gentlemen for their contributions towards the 
general amusement, and they graciously gave them permis- 
sion to fetch their horses from the stable and start. An 
hour or so later the other persons in the dining-room 
were told that they might go. This spree must have been an 
expensive one. The bushrangers only took a few pounds to 


start with, while they paid for everything that was consumed 
by the crowd between 1.30 a.m. on Monday and noon on 
Wednesday. At first there had been a feeling of restraint, 
caused, perhaps, by fear or uncertainty, but this soon wore 
off, and the party ended by being a very merry one. Several 
games were started. Songs were sung, and one of the 
bullock-drivers had a concertina and played dance music ; 
several of the members of the party danced. The women 
and children were allowed to go to bed, but the men had to 
sleep with their heads on the table. The bushrangers only 
slept for short naps in turn. On leaving Canowindra the 
bushrangers rode straight to Mr. Grant's place, at Balubula, 
called him out, and accused him of having given information 
to the police as to their movements. As a punishment they 
burned his house, stacks, and standing crop. 

A week later, on October 24th, Hall, Gilbert, O'Meally, 
Vane, and Burke rode up to Assistant Gold Commissioner 
Keightley's house, at Dunn's Plains, near Rockley, and 
called on him to come out. Mr. Keightley had been 
standing on the verandah, and on seeing them coming had 
rushed in and slammed the door. As he did not obey, the 
bushrangers fired some shots at the windows. Keightley 
returned the fire, and Burke fell, crying out " I'm done for." 
There was very little ammunition in the house and when this 
was expended Keightley surrendered. He asked only that 
the women should not be molested. Vane swore he would 
avenge Burke by shooting Keightley. Mrs. Baldock, wife 
of the camp-keeper, who was acting as general servant at the 
time, rushed between the men and pushed Vane back, crying 
at the time, " Oh ! don't shoot him ! Recollect his wife and 
her little baby." Dr. Peechy, who was present, also 
interfered, but was knocked down with the butt of a 
revolver. Mrs. Baldock again pushed Vane away, saying, 
" Don't hurt the doctor. He never did you any harm." 
Vane was much excited and swore a great deal, but 
he did not even push the woman away. Presently Hall, 
who had been some distance away, came up and told Vane 
to keep cool. He added that it was impossible to say in 
the melee who shot Burke. " Why," he exclaimed, " I might 
have done it myself." After a short time order was restored, 
and the doctor then said that Burke was not dead. He 


offeree! to go to Rockley for his instruments and to return 
immediately. Hall said " What's the good ? Better shoot 
him and put him out of his misery." A discussion followed, 
and at length permission was given to the doctor to go to 
his house for his instruments, after he had solemnly promised 
"not to bring the traps " on them. After the doctor's 
departure O'Meally declared his intention of taking 
Keightley down the paddock and shooting him. He told 
the Gold Commissioner " to come on," but Mrs. Keightley 
rushed between them and said he should shoot her before 
he took her husband away. Hall again interfered and order 
was restored. When the doctor returned he found that 
Burke was dead. A lengthy discussion took place as to 
what should be done with Keightley. O'Meally and Vane 
wished to shoot him. Hall and Gilbert were in favour of 
holding him to ransom, and Mrs. Keightley undertook to 
pay them $oo if they would spare his life. Finally an 
agreement was arrived at. Mrs. Keightley was to ride to 
Bathurst and bring back the money by two p.m. the next day 
(Sunday). If she failed to return at that time, or brought 
any one back with her, her husband and Doctor Peechy 
were to be shot. The distance from Rockley to Bathurst 
was twenty-five miles, but Mrs. Keightley started without 
misgiving. The bushrangers refused to stop in the house 
during the night in case of surprise. They took their 
prisoners and camped with them on a knoll, some 
distance away, from the top of which they had a good 
view of the Bathurst Road for several miles. This 
they declared would give them lime to shoot their hostages 
and ride away if treachery was attempted. Mrs. Keightley 
obtained the necessary amount of money from her father, 
Mr. Rolton, M.L.A., and returned home an hour before the 
stipulated time. She handed the money to Ben Hall, who 
complimented her on her endurance and pluck. Then 
Mr. Keightley and Dr. Peechy were told that they were free, 
and the bushrangers mounted and rode off. When this 
outrage was reported, the rewards offered for the capture, 
dead or alive, of Hall, Gilbert, O'Meally, and Vane, were 
increased to ^1000, while ,100 was offered for the capture 
of any other of their accomplices. 

A bullock-driver left Burrangong, after having disposed 


of his load of produce, and camped near the Burrangong 
Creek, a few miles from the diggings, when three men 
with blackened faces, and further disguised with spectacles, 
called on him. They demanded the ^45 which he had 
received in payment for his load, proving that they had 
somehow established a very effective system of espionage in 
the diggings. He admitted that that was the sum for which 
he had sold his load, but denied having the money, asserting 
that he had paid it away. They disbelieved him, and 
searched him and his dray, shaking out his blankets and 
tarpaulin. They found about ^3 in notes and silver, and 
went off with it. The bullock-driver had been too wide 
awake for them. He had heard them coming along the 
road, and knowing how the district was infested with robbers, 
had hastily thrust his roll of notes under a log near his 
camp fare. 

Peter Toohey was driving the mail coach on the road 
between Burrangong and Cowra, when he was ordered to 
bail up by three armed men. Instead of obeying he lashed 
his horses into a gallop, and did not pull up until he reached 
Mr. Allen's station at Wattamundera. The bushrangers 
followed for a mile or more and snapped their revolvers at 
him, but they were either not loaded or missed fire. In 
recording this event the Burrangong Courier remarked that 
this was probably the fastest three miles on record for a 
"Cobb's coach." This, however, is very doubtful. The 
Courier does not give the time, but some very tail tales 
of coach-racing have been given in the Victorian newspapers 
of the races run by opposition coaches on the roads from 
Melbourne to Bendigo and from Geelong to Ballarat in 
early diggings days. 

The same paper reported that Constable Clark chased 
and captured two supposed bushrangers near Marengo on 
August 3oth. When they reached the lock-up they were 
identified as Kate Meally and Elizabeth Mayhew. They 
were detained, but the next morning Sergeant Monaghan 
asked the magistrate to discharge the prisoners, as he had 
ascertained from enquiries that the girls only went out " for 
a bit of a spree in their brothers' clothes." 

Mr. David Henry Campbell was sitting in his house on 
the Goimbla sheep station on the evening of November 


1 9th when he heard footsteps on the verandah. Being 
suspicious as to the character of the visitors, he seized his 
gun and retreated to an inner room, while his brother 
William retired by another door. Mrs. Campbell was in 
the bedroom. The bushrangers came to the front door, 
and fired into the room. Mr. Campbell returned the fire, 
and the bushrangers retreated. They went to the stack- 
yard, and fired the barn and haystack. They then returned 
to the house, which was illuminated by the blazing of the 
barn and stack. Mrs. Campbell came out of the bedroom, 
and spoke a few words to her husband. Then she 
crossed the front parlour in full view of the bushrangers, 
took a second gun and a powder flask from the 
corner, and returned to her husband. The bushrangers 
fired at her, but missed, and they then retreated along 
the verandah to where the shadow cast by the blazing 
stack concealed them. After waiting a few minutes 
Mrs. Campbell, thinking, as she could hear no sound 
except the roaring of the flames, that the bushrangers 
had gone away, stealthily crossed the front room and peeped 
out of the window. She saw three men standing near the 
stackyard, and went back to inform her husband. Mr. 
Campbell immediately left the house by the back door, 
crept gently along the fence, taking care to keep in the 
shadow, and approached the men as closely as possible 
without giving them the alarm. He recognised the man 
nearest to him as O'Meally, and fired. O'Meally fell. 
Almost at the same moment the police, having seen the 
reflection of the fire miles away, and had ridden over to 
ascertain its cause, came galloping up. Hall and Gilbert, 
the two other bushrangers, hastily mounted their horses 
and went off under cover of the darkness. O'Meally's body 
was conveyed to Bathurst, where an inquest was held, and a 
verdict of justifiable homicide was returned. The Bathurst 
Times reported that locks of O'Meally's hair were being 
shown about and sold in the town, and protested against it. 
The paper said that the authorities had no right to allow this 
desecration of the body, even of a bushranger and murderer. 
" The police," it added, " would not have dared to touch 
his hair had he been alive. Probably Pottinger and the 
army of troopers that swarmed round Goimbla when the 


danger was passed each took a lock of his hair in memoriam 
when their enemy lay prostrate and dead." A public 
meeting was held in Sydney on March 3rd to consider what 
means should be adopted to recognise the bravery of Mr. 
Campbell in daring to resist the bushrangers and shooting 
O'Meally. A number of prominent men gave addresses, 
and it was resolved that a public subscription should be 
taken up to recoup him for the loss of his barn and stacks. 
The amount collected at the meeting and during a few days 
after totalled ^noo. Mr. Campbell was also awarded a 
gold medal by the Government. 

The violent deaths of Lowry, Burke, and O'Meally, in so 
short a time, seemed to have very little effect on the 
gang, which continued its depredations. Neither did these 
deaths prevent other young men from adopting the 
"profession of bushranger." In fact the deaths of a few 
bushrangers appear to have had less effect in deterring the 
criminally disposed from taking to the roads than the 
immunity enjoyed by the leaders offered encouragement. 
Bushranging was increasing instead of diminishing, although 
for a few months very little was heard of the Hall and 
Gilbert Gang. There was also some comedy mingled with 
the prevailing tragedy. For instance, a blackfellow met 
Alexander Sinclair, near Killoshiel, and enquired how far it 
was to Bathurst ? Sinclair told him, and was immediately 
ordered to "get off that horse." The rider hesitated, 
but the darkey pushed him off the saddle, sprang 
into it himself, and galloped away threatening to shoot 
Sinclair if he followed, although it is very doubtful whether 
he had any arms on him. The same blackfellow took 
possession of another horse in a similar manner a few hours 
later some miles along the road. He rode both horses 
until they knocked up, and then abandoned them. They 
were afterwards found feeding in the bush with their saddles 
and bridles still on. It was supposed that the blackfellow 
was just pining for a gallop and adopted this means of 
gratifying himself. He was not traced. 

Sergeant Donohoe captured William Dunne after an 
exciting chase through the ranges, and as the sergeant did 
not know his way back to the high road, he compelled his 
prisoner to lie down and waited patiently until some other 


policemen went out in search of him. Neither the sergeant 
nor his prisoner had any food for forty-eight hours. The 
police also captured George Bermingham. This man was a 
printer, born in Sydney, and was twenty-one years of age. 
When taken he was full of braggadocio, boasted loudly of the 
number of people he had stuck up, and talked familiarly of 
Vane and Johnny Gilbert. He laughed at the idea of Ben 
Hall having been shot as had been rumoured, and said, 
" Wait till he's spent the five hundred quid he got from 
Keightley, and you'll soon hear of him again." Sergeant 
Donohoe said he had followed Dunne because he recognised 
the magnificent chestnut horse he was riding as one ridden 
by the robbers of the Cooma mail. Dunne and Bermingham 
were sent to gaol for ten years for having been concerned in 
this robbery. 

In the last week of November, Hall and Gilbert stuck up 
the Burrowa mail. Hall expressed his disgust at the number 
of cheques found in the letters, and requested some of the 
passengers to cash them. As no one volunteered to oblige 
him he continued " If I thought it would injure them (the 

people who posted cheques presumably) I'd burn the 

lot." The two bushrangers sat down to open the letters, 
leaving the passengers perfectly free. Gilbert took up one 
letter which had a black border and laid it aside unopened, 
with the remark " We must respect death." In one of the 
letters a piece of wedding cake was found, and Gilbert pro- 
posed that they should eat it, but Hall objected, saying " It 
may be a trap." This caution was common to all the bush- 
rangers. They were in constant dread of being poisoned, and 
were therefore very cautious as to what they ate or drank. 
One of the passengers, Mr. Robert Handley, described the 
two bushrangers as being well-dressed, healthy looking, and 
very civil. 

The following morning Hall and Gilbert went to Coffey's 
Inn, near Burrowa, and ordered breakfast. When they had 
finished their meal they walked out on to the road and 
stopped every one who passed, compelling them to go into 
the bar after handing over their money. Mr. Campbell, 
however, refused to stand when challenged. He struck 
spurs to his horse and galloped away. Hall fired at him and 
then rushed to the verandah and mounted his horse. He 


galloped only a short distance and then returned, Campbell 
having too good a start. The bushrangers " shouted " for 
their prisoners in the bar several times " for the good of the 
house," and paid for what they ordered. It was said that 
they spent nearly as much as they had obtained from the 
persons robbed. 

On December i6th Mr. Henry Morgan, one of the 
proprietors of the Burrangong Star, was driving, with his 
newly-married wife, between Bowning and Binalong, when 
he was ordered to bail up by Hall and Gilbert. Gilbert was 
in high spirits. He exchanged hats with Morgan, and put 
his poncho on Mrs. Morgan, declaring that she would make 
" a first-rate bushranger." The newspaper man and his wife 
were taken into the bush, and detained from eight a.m. till 
six p.m. During this time Mr. George Franklin and his 
wife and four bullock drays were stuck up. One of the 
bullock-drivers named Sheedy had four bottles of gin on his 
dray, and these were opened and the liquor served round. 
The robbers asked Mrs. Franklin to cook breakfast " for the 
crowd," taking the necessary provisions from the loading 
on the drays. During the afternoon a number of other 
persons were brought into " the camp." All except one 
man were allowed to move about freely. This one man 
was tied, and was spoken to very roughly and uncivilly. 
The man was supposed to be "a telegram," and this 
show of harshness "a stall." At six o'clock the camp 
was broken up, and the prisoners permitted to resume 
their journeys. 

This performance was repeated the next and the two 
following days, near the same spot, and although the 
individual losses were generally small, the aggregate amount 
of money collected must have been considerable. Only in 
one instance was any violence used. A bullock-driver 
named Lake refused to turn out his pockets. Gilbert 
pressed the muzzle of his revolver against Lake's face and 
said : " If you don't do what you're told I'll shove this down 

your mouth." Hall felt Lake's pockets and took out 

^5 in notes and some silver. At night, when released, 
Lake asked for some of his money back to pay expenses 

along the road. Gilbert replied : " If you're a carrier 

your name's good for what you want. If you hadn't been so 


jolly you'd have got something. We always divide with 

them that behave themselves." 

In the week ending December 23rd, the Molong, the 
Cooma, the Tuena, and the Hartley mails were stuck up 
and robbed, proving that either the gang was divided or 
that more than one party was at work in the district. 

A party including Messrs. Sheedy, Bass, Hutchinson, and 
other residents of the district, with several ladies, when 
returning home from one of the numerous race parties held 
during the Christmas holidays, were ordered to " bail up." 
A lad was leading the racer Black Diamond, owned by Mr. 
Sheedy, and let him go. Ben Hall was furious. He 
galloped after the racer, swearing, and tried to head him, 
but failed. He came back and threatened the boy and Mr. 
Sheedy, but soon grew cool. The ladies were treated very 
civilly, but the robbers took watches and other valuables 
and all the money they could find from the gentlemen. 
Black Diamond was found safe in his stable when Mr. 
Sheedy reached home. 


A Heavy Sessions at Goulburn ; Ben Hall Hard Pushed ; An Amateur 
Mail Robber ; Discovery of Frank Gardiner ; His Trial and 
Sentence ; The Old Man ; A Brush with the Police ; The 
Chinkies show Fight ; Messrs. Hall & Co. Take a Lease of the 
Main Southern Road ; Capture of Mount and Dunleavy ; Johnny 
Dunn ; A Desperate Duel and Death of Sergeant Parry ; A 
Country Ball and its Sequel. 

BUSHRANGING by no means died out with the close of 1863. 
During the holidays the activity of the robbers continued, 
and the disease spread to other districts. It will, however, 
perhaps be better to continue the history of this gang, and 
return later on to the actions of other gangs elsewhere. 
On February 7th, 1864, Inspector Brennan and Constables 
Lovett and Roche went to a sly-grog shanty, as the places 
where strong drinks were sold without a licence were called, 
and captured George Lynam and Michael Seary. The 
horses of the two bushrangers were so exhausted with hard 
riding that although they mounted and rode away when the 
police came, they were soon caught, in spite of their long 
start. They were charged and convicted of having robbed a 
number of persons at William Sidwell's, Governor's Arms 
Hotel, Towrang, two miles from Goulburn, in company 
with James Crookwell and Daniel Matthews. Lynam 
also, in company with John Southgate, stuck up and 
robbed Thomas Cummins, Robert Sherwood, and others 
at Mr. Cornelius O'Brien's Station, near Binalong. They 
also stuck up Mr. Dwyer's place at Pudman's Creek, 
and after having made a bundle of all that was worth 
taking away, compelled Mrs. Ann Dwyer to cook 
thirty-four eggs and a quantity of bacon for them. 
They tied Dwyer, struck Mrs. Dwyer, and threatened 


to burn the place down unless they were told where 
the money was hidden. Jane Dwyer, daughter of Ann 
Dwyer, said that when they went in to search the bed- 
room, Lynam exclaimed, pointing to the crucifix, "There's 
Jesus Christ. He ought to be burned, and I've a good 
mind to do it." They smashed the furniture and broke 
open boxes and cupboards in their search for money. 
Lynam was sent to gaol for fifteen years, while Seary, 
Matthews, Crookwell, and Southgate were sentenced to ten 
years each for some offences, and to fifteen years for 
others, but as the sentences were all made concurrent all 
the prisoners were practically sentenced to fifteen years' 
imprisonment. At the same sessions Charles Jones, alias 
'William Herbert, and Frank Stanley, alias Wright, were 
sentenced to twelve years for various acts of highway 
robbery. Some of these young men were said to have 
assisted in some of the robberies effected by the Hall and 
Gilbert gang, and were suspected of being on their way to 
join that gang. James Hill and James Jones went to 
William Duguid's house at Mils, Twofold Bay, on March 
1 3th, and stuck up all hands. It was early in the morning 
when they arrived, and they sent everybody about the place 
into the kitchen and then searched the house. Jones 
remained on guard while Hill went with the stockman to 
fetch up the horses. Mr. Duguid warned Jones that he 
expected the police and advised him to go before they came 
to avoid bloodshed. Jones laughed, and ostentatiously 
loaded the double-barrelled gun which he had just taken 
from Duguid's bedroom. Hill returned with the horses, 
and while the bushrangers were selecting the ones they 
liked the police arrived. Sub-Inspector John Carder Hussey 
challenged the bushrangers and called on them to surrender. 
For a minute or two the shooting was very brisk, but it did 
not last long. Jones and Hussey fell wounded almost 
simultaneously, and Hill ran away. He was followed by 
Constable Zollner and captured, while Sergeant Chandler 
secured Jones. The wounds were not very serious, but the 
bushrangers were sent to gaol for fifteen years. Ah Ling 
and ten other Chinese were living together in a hut on the 
Abercrombie Goldfield. On May 2nd John Taylor and 
Thomas Webb drove the Chinamen into the kitchen and 


called them up one by one to be robbed. The first victim 
was Ah Wee. When asked for his gold he replied "No 
savee." He afterwards said he had none. Webb got a 
rope, tied it round the Chinaman's neck, and hauled him up 
to a sapling beam which ran across the building. After 
hanging for several minutes Ah Wee was let down and 
asked whether he " saveed now ? " He handed out his gold 
and explained at the trial that it made him "welly sick." 
Ah Yong, Ah See, and two or three others were served in the 
same way, and the others gave up their gold without further 
compulsion. The prisoners were sent to gaol for two years. 
The session was a remarkably heavy one, and the majority 
of the cases tried were for robbery under arms. 

While the police had been very successful in bringing a 
number of outsiders to justice, the better known members 
of the gang continued to keep the district alive. The Yass 
Courier reported that nearly every one in the district had 
turned out to hunt Ben Hall, who was reported to have paid 
them a visit. The bushranger had been so hard pressed 
that he was forced to abandon Willy the Weasel, owned by 
Mr. Garry. The horse was completely knocked up, other- 
wise the bushranger would not have let him go, as he was a 
favourite. The stock riders of the district had expressed 
great contempt for the police, their opinions being summed 
up as follows : " They can't catch him. They don't know 
how to ride down a hill." Many of the " hills " in the 
district would be elsewhere considered almost as precipices. 

The Young (Burrangong) Daily Tribune the same week 
reported that a day or two ago Ben Hall walked alone into 
the stables at Groggan station, Bland Plains, said " Good 
morning, boys," and then proceeded coolly to tie up the 
three men and a boy. Having secured these to his entire 
satisfaction, he walked to the house and asked to see Mr. 
Chisholm. On that gentleman coming to the door Hall 
said, " Good morning, Mr. Chisholm. I've come for 
Troubadour." " You've left him so long you might do 
without him now," returned Mr. Chisholm. " Oh," 
exclaimed Hall, "you're getting too - - flash. If you 
consort with traps you'll have to be taught manners." They 
walked to the stables, where Hall put saddles and bridles on 
Troubadour and Union Jack. The last-named had won 


the Champion Plate at the Wagga Wagga races on New 
Year's Day, and had only been brought home under police 
escort a day or two before. Hall also selected two other 
horses, which he said he "liked the look of," and put bridles 
on them. He then made Mr. Chisholm fill two three-bushel 
bags with clothing from the store, and these he packed 
on the spare horses. Then he mounted Troubadour, and 
leading the others started away. He had scarcely moved, 
however, before he pulled up again, and said to Mr. 
Chisholm, " That's a good looking watch of yours. I want 
it. Hand it over." Mr. Chisholm did so, and the bush- 
ranger then rode off. It may be explained that the reason 
why no opposition was attempted was because it was 
believed that Hall had plenty of support if he had required 
it. He never walked unless he was compelled, and it was 
thought that his mates with the horses were not far off. It 
was also suggested that Hall had a bad mount after he lost 
Willy the Weasel and that he did not wish to let Mr. 
Chisholm see him riding an inferior horse. 

The mail coach from Wagga Wagga having failed to 
arrive at Cootamundra at the usual time, on May i2th, the 
contractor, Mr. Burke, supposed that it had been stuck up 
somewhere along the road and rode out to make enquiries. 
At about three miles from Cootamundra he found a number 
of letters lying scattered about the road. He gathered them 
up and continued his search. At length he found the 
mail-man drunk in a public-house near Murrumburrah. The 
fellow had robbed the mail himself, no doubt with the 
intention of laying the blame on the bushrangers. He was 
convicted and sentenced to seven years' penal servitude. 

The mail was stuck up at Mumble Flat, between Orange 
and Wellington, on March ist. A portion of the loading 
consisted of carbines and revolvers for the police, " all of 
which," said the Orange Guardian, " were borne off to be 
used against them." 

The Bathurst-Sydney coach was stuck up at Lapstone 
Hill by three armed men. The passengers were Michael 
Duffy, Constable McKay, in charge of a female lunatic, 
and three Chinamen. After having collected the money 
from the passengers and searched the letters, the robbers 
extinguished the coach lamps, took the horses out, and drove 



them up the hill. The driver waited for half an hour, as he 
had been ordered to do, and then started to catch his horses. 
This he managed to do with some difficulty, and on his 
return he drove on to Penrith. From thence the passengers 
and the broken mail-bags were taken to Sydney by train. 
John Forster was arrested in a house at Strawberry Hills, 
Sydney, and charged with having, with others, stuck up and 
robbed the mail coach between Penrith and Hartley at 
two a.m. Ah Lung, one of the passengers on the coach, 
recognised a sash which the prisoner wore round his waist 
as his property, and said he carried his money in it. Forster 
was sent to gaol for ten years. 

About this time great excitement was caused throughout 
New South Wales by the report that Frank Gardiner had 
been discovered and arrested by Detective McGlone on 
March 3rd, at Apis Creek, on the road from Rockhampton 
to the Peak Downs diggings, Queensland. Gardiner was 
keeping a shanty, or roadside store, with Mrs. Brown, who 
passed as his wife. Gardiner was brought to Sydney and 
duly committed for trial. In connection with this case Mr. 
(afterwards Sir) E. Deas Thompson laid a return on the table of 
the Legislative Assembly showing that the amount stolen by 
Gardiner previous to his disappearance was about ^"21,000. 
Of this total, ^13,694 had been stolen in the robbery of 
the Lachlan Escort, and ^5335 had been recovered by the 
police under Sir Frederick Pottinger. No murders were 
charged against Gardiner, but he was convicted on three 
counts for highway robbery. On each of these counts he 
was sentenced, on the first to twelve years and on the 
other two to ten years each. The first three years in 
irons in each case. The sentences were made cumulative, 
and aggregated thirty-two years. It will be remembered 
that Captain Melville, the bushranger, was sentenced 
to a similar term of imprisonment in Victoria about 
twelve years before, and there were many people in New 
South Wales who thought that Gardiner had been too 
harshly dealt with. Such a sentence, they said, deprived a 
man of all hope, and rendered him desperate, and they 
would not be surprised if Gardiner rebelled against it as 
Melville had done. Those who held this view were, how- 
ever, in the minority. The majority said bushranging must 


be stamped out at any cost, and until this was effected the 
sentences could not be too severe. 

On the 20th of May Ben Hall, Gilbert, and a new 
recruit known as " the Old Man," rode up to McGregor's Inn 
at Bong Bong, where a number of men were on the 
verandah. The bushrangers ordered these men to "throw 
your arms up," enforcing the order with revolvers. There 
were some twenty visitors on the verandah and in the bar, 
and these were ranged along the wall in the dining room, 
with Hall on guard. Gilbert and "the Old Man" walked down 
the yard to the stables, where several racehorses were in the 
stalls under the charge of Constables Scott and Macnamara, 
who were escorting them to Burrangong for the races on 
Queen's birthday. Gilbert called to the constables to 
"leave those horses." The constables drew their revolvers, 
and fired by way of reply. The bushrangers fired, and Hall 
left the dining-room to take part in the scrimmage. For 
some minutes the shooting was very brisk, but no one 
appeared to be hurt. The police were on foot and under 
cover of the stables, but the bushrangers were mounted and 
in the open yard. Suddenly the firing ceased as if by 
mutual consent, and Gilbert shouted that they would be 
back presently. The bushrangers then rode away. As 
Hall went out of the gate his cabbage tree hat fell off, and 
a cry was raised that he had been hit. He rode off, how- 
ever, without showing any symptoms of injury. Believing 
that the bushrangers had gone for reinforcements the two 
constables barricaded the stables, and sent a messenger to 
the nearest police depot for assistance. About midnight 
Sir Frederick Pottinger arrived with four troopers, but the 
bushrangers did not return. 

On the following afternoon the mail coach was stuck up 
at Emu Flat, between Burrangong and Yass. A passenger 
named Michael Curran saved his gold watch and chain by 
dropping them among the straw in the bottom of the coach, 
but a valuable gold ring and 21 in notes were taken 
from him. Ben Hall also exchanged an old poncho for a 
valuable rug, and an old clay pipe for a very fine meer- 
schaum. Some distance away Mr. Barnes met the coach, 
and the driver, J. Roberts, who knew him, warned Barnes 
that the bushrangers were on the road. Barnes laughed 


and went on. He was stopped and robbed, and as he did 
not hand out his money very readily when ordered to do so, 
he was very roughly treated and was threatened with death. 
Several teams were also robbed. The bushrangers were 
riding the racers Teddington, Harkaway, and Troubadour. 

During this "reign of terror," the Press, especially of the 
country districts, continued to urge the necessity for 
suppressing the "bush telegraphs" and other sympathisers of 
the bushrangers, and said that while so many who aided 
them either by giving them information of the movements 
of the police or providing them with hiding places when 
they were hard pressed were at large the police had little 
chance of making headway against the evil doers. The 
Yass Courier, for instance, spoke of " the wealthy relations 
of the bushrangers with whom the police are afraid to 
interfere, but whose places never have and never will be 
stuck up.' The paper "perforce refrains from publishing 
the names of these people on account of the state of the 
libel law," but it charges them with " comforting and assisting 
the bushrangers." It seems difficult to understand what 
the police were expected to do, or to see what action could 
be taken against a settler because his place was not raided, 
and who had some more or less distant relative "on the 
roads." But this serves to show how closely the Press 
enquired into the antecedents and relationships of the 

A man, believed to be Johnny Gilbert, accompanied by 
a lad named Ryan, stopped to dinner at the Korowatha Inn. 
They talked freely of bushranging, and laughed at the report 
that Hall had been hit at McGregor's, as the newspapers had 
reported. They affirmed that "the traps could not fire 
straight enough to hit a haystack." 

On the 22nd of June, the Bathurst Times said : "After an 
immunity from bushranging crimes in this district for some 
months, the gang has appeared once more and commenced 
operations. On the i8th, the mail coach for Orange and 
the Lachlan started an hour late from this town in con- 
sequence of the heavy mail. There were on board James 
Nairne and seven passengers. About eighteen miles out, 
near the turn-off road to Guyong, three men jumped out of 
the bush and ordered the mail-man to ' bail up.' The coach 


was taken off the road, where the passengers were robbed 
and the letters torn open. The driver and passengers were 
then told that they would be detained until the down mail 
came. While they were waiting, a little boy was stopped and 
one pound of tea and is. 6d. in money were taken from him. 
The boy's father, a farmer living near, came out to look for 
his son, and was run in among the crowd. After some 
dispute the tea and the is. 6d. were given back, but the 
father and son were compelled to remain until the other 
coach came by. The down mail, driven by John Pagan, 
arrived about midnight and was stopped. Fagan was asked 
what made him so late, and replied that the roads were bad 
with the rains. The letters were opened, except those in the 
registered bag, which the robbers missed. About two a.m. 
the robbers told their prisoners that they might go, and 
walked away." It was said that this was not the Gilbert and 
Hall gang, as the robbers had no horses. The police 
started in pursuit from Bathurst and Orange as soon as news 
of the robbery reached these towns. 

Ben Hall and his gang stuck up and robbed Pearce and 
Hillier's store at Canowindra, and held the town for the day 
as on a previous occasion. The following afternoon, 
June 23rd, they called at Mr. Rothsay's station, took four 
horses from the stables, and set fire to a stack containing 
about 14 tons of hay as a "caution to traitors." 

Ben Hall, Johnny Gilbert, John Dunleavy, and James 
Mount (hitherto known as "the Old Man") stuck up the Car- 
cour and Cowra coaches. They then rode on to the Half- Way 
House Hotel and compelled the landlord to hand over 1 6. 
They held the road for several hours, robbing all who passed, 
and bringing them to the hotel, where they " shouted for all 
hands" several times. This time the bushrangers drank port 
wine. They took several well-bred horses from the stables. 
One of these got loose and galloped along the road. He 
was followed by Dunleavy, who failed to head him. The 
horse was caught next day and sent to Bathurst for safety. 

Two armed men endeavoured to stick up the Chinese 
Camp at Gilmandyke Creek, near Rockley. The Chinese 
fought bravely, returning the bushrangers' fire in a spirited 
manner with shot guns. A bushranger named Clayton was 
wounded and captured, when the other man rode away. 


The Chinese were highly commended for their pluck, and 
several of the newspapers said that they had set a good 
example for white men to follow. 

Hall and Mount went to Mr. Jamieson's station on the 
Bland River, and informed the proprietor that they intended 
to stop for the night. They called the men up, asked their 
names and how much money each one had. Having 
obtained this information they announced that they did 
not intend to take anything from any one. Possibly this 
decision may have been due to the fact that the total 
amount acknowledged to be in the possession of those 
present was small. Whether this was so or not, however, 
matters little. They ordered supper to be served, and made 
all present sit down to the table in the dining-room. When 
the meal was over and the table cleared, Mr. Jamieson was 
asked to bring out some rum from the store. A pint pot, 
filled with hot water with plenty of salt in it, was placed on 
the table, and Hall announced that if any one present 
refused to sing or to contribute in some other way to the 
general amusement, he would be compelled to swallow the 
contents of this pannikin. Then they made a night of it. 
In the morning half the men were lying on the ground in a 
drunken sleep, but the bushrangers were quite sober, having 
drunk very little. They spent half-an-hour in the stable 
cleaning their horses, had breakfast, and rode away, 
declaring that they had enjoyed themselves immensely, and 
thanking Mr.* Jamieson for the entertainment he had 
afforded them. 

They called at the next station and took the racehorse 
" Plover " out of the stable. Mount ordered the stock-man 
to fetch the horses out of the paddock, as he wanted to 
select one or two of the best stock-horses. While they were 
talking, the stock-man moved round from Mount's right 
hand side to the left. The bushranger immediately shifted 
his revolver from the right hand to the left, remarking 
quietly : " I can shoot just as straight left-handed as 
right." Hall said he had enjoyed many a good laugh 
at the newspaper yarns about himself. He added that 
Brown's men were "jolly good fellows." In the evening 
they stuck up the Gundagai mail near Jugiong. When 
opening the letters Hall found a bulky roll of bank notes. 


"' Ah ! " he said, " This is what I like." He took a number 
of newspapers away with him, "just to see what they say 
about me." From thence they rode straight to the Chinese 
camp at Wombat, " to give the Chinkies a lesson." The 
Chinese were very slow in producing their gold, and the 
bushrangers fared in among them, killing one and wounding 
another. The next day, Sunday, they stuck up a number of 
Chinamen on the road and took their gold, but did not 
ill-treat them. In the afternoon they went to Mr. McCarthy's 
store in Jugiong and compelled him to open the door. 
They selected a quantity of clothing and drapery, which 
they placed on a spare pack horse they had with them. In 
the evening they stuck up the Gundagai mail within a mile 
of the place where they had stuck it up a few days before. 
Hall took out a roll of half notes from one packet. " This 
is a green trick, this is," he said, holding them up. " It's 
little trouble to us to match half notes." This series of 
outrages, following so closely one on the other, naturally 
stirred the police up to increased activity, and the bush- 
rangers were so closely followed that a brush took place 
between them and the police in the last week of October. 
In this fight, which lasted only a very 'short time, Dunleavy 
was severely wounded and surrendered, while Mount was 

James Mount was an escaped convict, out on a ticket-of- 
leave. He was forty-five years of age, but had been called 
" The Old Man " before his name was known, to distinguish 
him from the young men and boys who formed the body of 
this gang. Mount was tried and convicted of highway 
robbery in Bathurst, and was sentenced to ten years' 

In commenting upon the capture of Mount and 
Dunleavy the Goulburn Herald announced that their loss to 
the gang had been to some extent compensated for by the 
accession of Johnny Dunn, who was born in Murrum 
burrah. Earlier in the year 1864 Dunn had won the 
principal prize at the Yass race meeting with the Binalong 
horse, Ringleader. He was an excellent rider, and would 
no doubt give the police some trouble. 

" Messrs. Hall, Gilbert, and Dunn seem to have 
obtained a lease of the Main Southern road," said the Yass 


Courier of November igth. They robbed the up and down 
mails from Gundagai two consecutive weeks. On the last 
of these four robberies the coach was bailed up at Deep 
Creek, near Jugiong, at about four p.m. Messrs. Bradley 
and Sheahan, passengers, had alighted to walk up the steep 
hill, and were some hundred yards or so ahead of the coach, 
when three men suddenly appeared from behind the scrub 
and ordered them to " bail up." " All right," replied Mr. 
Sheahan, holding his hands above his head. Hall said, 
" That'll do. We've got a little township of our own up 
there. Come on." He pointed up the hill as he spoke. 
They followed him until they came to a small, clear spot, 
surrounded with high trees and scrub. Here they saw 
twelve bullock drays and a number of men. Several horses 
were hitched to the trees round the clearing, and the men 
who owned them, as well as the bullock-drivers and some 
footmen, were seated on the ground. When asked for his 
money Sheahan replied, " Got none. Search if you like." 
" Oh, you're not a bad sort," said Hall, " we'll take your 
word for it." Bradley took out a cheque for ;i, saying, 
" That's all I've got I brought it to pay my way on the 
trip." Hall put his hand into Bradley's pocket, and finding 
nothing there told him to keep the cheque. A cask of port 
wine, which was found on one of the bullock drays, was 
tapped, and the wine was handed round to all present in a 
quart pot in which tea had been made, as was evident by its 
colour. When the letters had been searched, the bush- 
rangers told the company that they might go. 

Expecting that the return mail would be robbed again 
next day Mr. Ross, police magistrate, and Constable Roche 
in private clothes went as passengers, while Inspector O'Neil 
and Sergeant Edmund Parry rode beside the coach on 
horseback. At Black Springs, near Jugiong, the bushrangers 
appeared as had been anticipated, and on emerging from 
ihe bush one of them shouted out, " Hullo, here's the 

bobbies." Hall said, "There's only two. Rush the ." 

The three bushrangers then rode forward shouting " Come 

on, you , fight like men." Sergeant Parry rode forward 

and encountered Gilbert, ahd a desperate duel on horseback 
with revolvers took place until Parry fell. In the meantime 
Inspector O'Neil had kept under cover of the coach and 


managed to keep the other two bushrangers at bay until 
Parry fell, when he surrendered. Mr. Ross fired several 
shots, but what became of Constable Roche is not 
known. He was not captured or wounded. He simply 
disappeared in the scrub. When all was quiet Gilbert 
dismounted, turned over Parry's body, and remarked 
coolly " He got it in the cobbera. It's all over with him. 
Well, I'm sorry for it. He's the bravest trap I've met yet." 
The coach was taken off the road to where several bullock 
teams, two horse carts with their Chinese owners, a buggy 
with Mr. and Mrs. Hayes, and several footmen and horse- 
men among whom was Constable McLaughlin, who had 
fired away his ammunition before he surrendered were 
collected together. The robbers searched the letters as 
usual, took all the police horses and arms, collected the 
money, watches, and other valuables from the crowd 
and rode away saying " We'll rob the mail to-morrow 

if all the traps in the colony are here." Whether 

this threat was mere braggadocio, or whether the 
bushrangers intended to draw the police here so that they 
might operate in safety elsewhere, has been frequently 
argued without any definite result. The police were on the 
road, and the bushrangers did not put in an appearance. 
That is what is known. The day following, however, the 
gang stuck up the Binalong mail, and after searching the 

letters, burned letters and papers to "put a stop to the 

English correspondence." 

A day or two later, "Messrs. Hall & Co." took pos- 
session of the road between the Fourteen Mile and the 
Fifeen Mile rushes at Burrangong and bailed up about 
thirty men, women, and boys. A bridle took the fancy of 
one of the gang, and he insisted on taking it and giving 
his own in return. With this exception, and the taking 
of a quantity of bread and butter found on the drays 
bailed up, nothing was stolen. The bushrangers explained 
that they expected some gold buyers along the road, and 
when they came the camp would be broken up. In the 
meantime they wanted every one to enjoy the picnic. The 
women were set to work to cut up and serve out the bread 
and butter. Fires were lighted and tea made. Then races 
and other sports were organised for the boys. One of the 


bailed-up men was a newsvendor, and the bushrangers 
" borrowed " his papers and took it in turn to lie down and 
"read the news." At last one of the boys contrived to 
sneak away unseen, and as soon as his escape was discovered 
the camp was broken up and the robbers rode away. 

On December igth, the Hon. William Macleay, M.L.C., 
was driving in a buggy from Towrang to Shelly's Flat, when 
he noticed a large crowd a little way ahead. He sent his 
coachman on with the buggy and got down to make enquiries. 
As he drew near he saw that a number of people were 
standing round two bullock drays, while one or two men 
were breaking open the boxes on the drays. Mr. Macleay 
asked a man what was the matter, and the man motioned to 
him to keep quiet. Mr. Macleay conjectured that it was 
the bushrangers robbing the drays, and withdrew as quietly 
as he had joined the crowd. He walked on to Plum's Inn, 
where he found a wedding party enjoying themselves. He 
told the landlord what he had seen and his suspicions, and 
advised those present to take precautions to avoid being 
robbed. Some time later the bushrangers came up, and 
seeing a number of men on the verandah with guns and 
revolvers in their hands, fired. Mr. Macleay immediately 
returned the fire. The bushrangers drew together some 
distance away, and held a consultation. They apparently 
decided that the risk was too great, as they went off along 
the road. For beating off the bushrangers, and proving that 
a show of resistance might prevent robberies, Mr. Macleay 
was awarded a gold medal by the New South Wales Govern- 
ment. As a per contra, the fact that the bushrangers robbed 
the drays openly in the main road in this instance, instead 
of taking them into the bush, was cited as evidence that they 
were growing bolder and more careless of the police. 

Hall, Gilbert, and Dunn rode up to a store at Binda, 
owned by an ex-policeman named Morris, on December 2ist, 
and took about ;ioo from his cashbox. They informed 
Morris that a ball was being held at the Flag Hotel, and 
insisted on himself and Mrs. Morris dressing themselves, and 
accompanying the bushrangers to the ball. Morris at first 
objected, but finally gave way. When they reached the Flag 
Hotel the bushrangers mixed freely with the crowd, dancing 
and otherwise enjoying themselves. Presently some " bush 


telegraph" informed the bushrangers that Morris had been 
sounding several of the men present as to the probability of 
effecting a capture. Gilbert and Dunn drew their revolvers 
and started to look for Morris, who, having been informed 
of what had transpired, jumped through an open window, 
and ran towards where the bushrangers' horses were tied to 
trees. His intention was to take one and ride for the 
police. The bushrangers, however, caught sight of him, 
and divining his intention ran and fired at Morris. This 
compelled him to turn aside and take refuge behind a tree. 
The bushrangers made no attempt to follow him. They 
removed their horses to a safer place, then walked to the 
store, piled a quantity of brushwood on the verandah, and 
set fire to it. Then they mounted their horses, and sat and 
watched the blaze until the house was well alight, when 
they rode off. There were more than a hundred persons at 
the ball, but no attempt was made to prevent the bush- 
rangers from burning down the store. In connection with 
this "act of vengeance" Christina McKinnon and Ellen and 
Margaret Monks were arrested and charged with having 
aided and abetted in burning down Morris's store. The 
girls had been dancing with the bushrangers, and had 
accompanied them when they went to the store. The 
police said that they were well known as " bush telegraphs," 
and cited instances in which it was supposed that they 
had given notice to the bushrangers of the approach of the 
police. Margaret Monks was discharged, but the other two 
were sent to gaol, the evidence showing that they had 
assisted the bushrangers in piling wood on the verandah of 
the store. 

Mr. D. Davis, auctioneer, of Yass, had been conducting 
a sale at Murrumburrah, and was returning home on 
December 3oth when he was stuck up. He had on him 
;ic>9 is. 5d., the proceeds of the sale, principally in 
cheques. When these were handed out Ben Hall was in a 
furious rage, and threatened to burn them. Gilbert pro- 
posed that he should gallop on and "change them before 
they're stopped." There was 1 53. 6d. in cash, and of this 
they kept ;i, returning the silver. They then rode rapidly 
away. Nothing more was heard of the cheques, the only 
thing known of them being that they were never cashed. 


Meeting the Gold Escort ; Murder of Constable Nelson ; A Brush with 
the Police ; Attempt to Stick Up the Araluen Gold Escort ; Death 
of Constable Kelly and Pluck of Constable Burns ; Sir Frederick 
Pottinger Resigns ; Death of Ben Hall ; Sketch of his Life ; Death 
of Johnny Gilbert ; Record of John Dunn and the Gang ; Capture 
and Trial of Johnny Dunn ; His Execution ; Fate of the Chief 
Members of the Gardiner Gang. 

LIKE many other young men I spent a few years on the 
diggings in hopes of making "my pile," and early in 1865 
I, in company with two mates, left the King's Plains, where 
we had just finished working out a hole, and started for 
Apple Tree Flat, near Mudgee, where a rush had recently 
taken place. We were well mounted, and had a pack-horse 
which " belonged to the firm." One of my mates was a 
keen sportsman, and his horse had won several prizes at 
those country meetings known as " Publican's Races," from 
the fact that they were organised by a publican and held 
near his house for obvious business reasons. We were 
travelling steadily along the road leading from Blaney to 
Bathurst, near Back Creek, when we saw the Government 
Gold Escort in the distance. The police authorities of New 
South Wales had learned a lesson from the Great Escort 
Robbery of 1862, and no longer mounted all the police on 
the coach or drag in which the gold was conveyed to Sydney. 
At the place we had arrived at the road, a chain and a half 
wide (99 feet), had been cleared through a stretch of heavy 
forest timber. It ran as straight as possible as far as the eye 
could reach, and was bordered on either side by a dense 
growth of timber and scrub rising to a height of from 200 to 
300 feet like a wall of greenery. In the centre of the roadway 
was a metalled or gravelled road about fifteen feet wide. 


The remainder on either side was graded to near the timber 
line, where a small cutting to carry off surface water was made. 
We rode on the soft grassy side slopes and left the metalled 
or gravelled road for vehicles. It was in the centre of this 
gorge in the forest that we first sighted the escort. First 
rode a single trooper; at fifty yards distance came two 
more; then, at about the same distance, came the escort 
cart, drawn by four horses, the driver and another policeman 
sitting on the front seat, while a third trooper sat behind. 
A mounted trooper also rode one on each side of the cart. 
Fifty yards further back were two more troopers, while the 
rear was brought up by another single trooper. The 
troopers had their carbines ready in their hands, the butts 
resting on their thighs. When the leading trooper came 
within hail of us, he cried " Halt," and raised his rifle. We 
halted. The two troopers behind him came forward at a 
rapid pace until they were near enough to support him, 
if necessary. The cart stopped, and the other troopers 
gathered round it ready to defend it. The sergeant in 
charge inquired what our names were, where we were going, 
and what was our business. We told him. He said our 
horses were superior to those usually ridden by diggers. We 
replied that we didn't care about riding old screws. He 
asked whether the two guns we carried were loaded. 
We informed him that one was loaded with shot in case 
we came across a duck or a pigeon. He told us to sit up 
straight and follow him. Then he motioned to the two 
troopers just behind him. He led the way while the troopers 
followed behind us. We all kept to the side of the road ; 
the cart having been drawn up on the other side. The 
other troopers sat on their horses, carbine in hand, as we 
passed. It was a most impressive show of force out there 
in the bush. The sergeant and two troopers conducted us 
for about a hundred yards past the cart and then pulled up. 
The sergeant said it was difficult to tell what men were 
by their appearance. He advised us to be very careful, 
and asked if we had any gold or money with us. We 
told him that we had been at Lambing Flat, and knew 
what the state of the country was. We did not feel 
disposed to carry gold or very much money with us 
while there were banks in every town. He said we were 


right and wished us good day after telling us to ride straight 
on and not attempt to turn back. We laughed and said we 
were travelling in the opposite direction and had no desire 
to turn back. In talking the matter over in our camp that 
night we decided that great as the improvement in the 
escort service had been it would not be impossible to rob 
the escort again. If, for instance, we had been part of a 
gang of bushrangers, sent to draw the attention of the police 
to us, while another portion of the gang had been hidden in 
the scrub, opposite where the cart stood, the troopers might 
have been shot down almost without a chance of defending 
themselves. However, the escort protection seems to have 
been sufficient, as it was not robbed again, although one or 
two attempts were made in other districts. 

During the first week or two of 1865 very little was 
heard of Messrs. Hall & Co., but on January 26th the three 
principal members of the firm (Hall, Gilbert, and Dunn), 
stuck up Mr. Kimberley's store in Main Street, Collector. 
Dunn was stationed on guard on the verandah while Hall 
and Gilbert went inside to select such articles as they 
required or fancied. Constable Nelson, the only policeman 
stationed in the little town, was at the lock-up, and on being 
informed of what was going on he loaded his carbine and 
walked down the street towards the store. Dunn saw him 
coming and withdrew out of sight behind the fence at the 
corner of the verandah, and when the constable was only a 
few yards distant the robber fired at him. The constable 
fell, and Dunn, coming out of his hiding-place, walked to 
where he was lying, put his revolver close to the constable's 
head, and fired again. Hearing the shots, Hall and Gilbert 
came out, and on seeing what had been done, held a 
whispered consultation, and then mounted their horses and 
rode away. They went straight to Alfred Cramp's farm at 
Binda, and ordered dinner. While they were still at table 
a party of police galloped up, dismounted, and rushed into 
the front door of the house as the bushrangers went out 
of the back door. A few shots were fired, but the bush- 
rangers mounted and escaped, owing to the superiority of 
their horses. The news of Constable Nelson's death had 
been conveyed to the police at once, and they had followed 
close on the tracks of the bushrangers. 


In February a number of persons were stuck up near 
Illalong, on the road between Yass and Burrangong. The 
robbers were said to have no connection with the firm of 
Hall & Co., as they robbed their victims of their coats 
and vests. The Hall gang never did this. If they saw a 
man with a coat or vest, or any other article of clothing to 
which they took a fancy, they would exchange with him, 
but they only stole clothes from the stores. However, 
while the police were out in search of these plebeian bush- 
rangers, they happened to come across Hall and Gilbert at 
Lodge's Inn, Breadalbane Plains, and captured their horses. 
It was supposed that the two robbers had been sleeping in 
the barn. They rushed out when the police came, and went 
across a cleared paddock, both parties firing their revolvers. 
Constable Wiles was wounded, and Ben Hall was supposed 
to have been wounded, as he fell. He was up again in a 
moment, however, and succeeded in reaching the timber, 
the ground being too rough and heavily-timbered for the 
police horses to make their way through it. 

A daring attempt was made by Hall and three others to 
stick up the Araluen escort on March i6th. The bush- 
rangers fired from behind trees as the escort cart was 
going up Major's Creek Mount, at the same place 
where a similar attempt had been made about two 
and a half years previously. Constable Kelly fell 
wounded, and died a few days later. Constable Burns, 
who was driving, jumped off the cart, put a stone 
behind the wheel, and then fired, shouting "Come on.'* 
Mr. Blatchford, J.P., who had been riding beside the driver, 
remained on his seat until a voice from behind the trees 

cried out, " Shoot the on the cart." He then jumped 

down quickly, but was wounded in the leg. He fell, but 
got up again immediately and ran down the hill to 
Noonan's Hotel for assistance. Constable Stapleton and 
hir companion forced their horses up the steep cutting 
which bordered the road, and disappeared among the trees. 
Evrns. thus left alone with the cart, sheltered himself behind 
it as well as he could, and kept blazing away coolly from his 
cover. Suddenly, Constable Stapleton and his companion 
attacked the robbers in the rear. Gilbert turned sharply, 
and said, " You're a good shot, take that," and shot 


the constable's horse. The two policemen, however, kept 
up the firing, and the bushrangers mounted their horses 
and rode away. Mr. Blatchford presented Constable Burns 
with a cheque for ^50, as a reward for the pluck he had 
shown in defending his charge. 

It was at about this time that Sir Frederick Pottinger, 
who was in command of the police in this district, was 
charged with having neglected his duty. Sir Frederick had 
ridden in a gentleman's race on the Wowingragong course. 
It was rumoured that the bushrangers, for whom he was 
supposed to be looking, had been on the course too, and 
had not been recognised. Sir Frederick was called to 
Sydney to attend an inquiry, and resigned his position in 
the force. About a month later he died from the effects of 
a wound from a pistol, accidently fired by himself. 

The gang yarded a mob of horses at a station near 
Murrumburrah and picked out several of the finest horses, 
which they took away, leaving their own knocked-up horses 
in their place. They rode to Wombat, where they stuck up 
a mob of Chinamen, one of whom was shot to make the 
others "shell out" their gold more quickly. Then the 
bushrangers travelled to Forbes, and on the following day 
robbed Mr. Jones's store of ;8i in cash and a quantity of 
clothing and drapery. Information was given to the police 
in the town as soon as the robbers left the store, and a party 
of police with two black trackers followed them. On the 
following evening, May 5th, they came on two hobbled 
horses reeding near the Billabong Creek. These were 
recognised as horses which had been ridden by the bush- 
rangers, and the police watched them carefully without 
allowing themselves to be seen. This was not difficult, as 
there were thick patches of scrub about the flat. Half-an- 
hour later a man came out of one of these patches of scrub, 
unhobbled the horses, and led them away for about two 
hundred yards to where there was better grass. It was at 
that time too dark to distinguish him. He rehobbled the 
horses and retired into the scrub once more. The police 
drew up closer to this patch with great caution and watched 
till morning. At daybreak the man appeared again and 
looked round to ascertain whether the horses were in sight, 
and Inspector Davidson immediately recognised him as Ben 


Hall and called on him to stand. Hall turned to go back 
into the patch of scrub, and the inspector fired at him. 
Sergeant Condell and the four policemen also fired, and 
Hall stopped and leaned on a sapling for support. Then 
Constable Hopkiss took steady aim and fired again, and 
Hall let his revolver fall from his hand. The police went 
forward and Hall said "I'm hit. Shoot me dead." He 
-relaxed his hold on the sapling, staggered forward and fell. 
The police rushed up, but he died before any attempt 
could be made to staunch the blood. On the body 
being examined one rifle and six revolver bullet wounds 
were found, any one of which should have proved 
fatal. The bushrangers' horses were soon caught, the body 
was strapped on one of them, and the party returned to 
Forbes. The police were much surprised to find Hall alone, 
but conjectured that Gilbert and Dunn had gone down the 
Lachlan River to some of the great stations to procure 
horses, all the racehorses about Burrangong having been 
pretty well exhausted. The two captured with Hall were in 
very poor condition, and had evidently been ridden hard. 
It was supposed that they had knocked up, and that Hall 
'had stayed behind while his companions sought fresh 
mounts. He thought he was quite safe in the scrub, so far 
,away from his usual haunts. 

Benjamin Hall was about twenty-eight years of age. 
His father had come to the Wedden Mountains district in 
.about 1840, when little Ben was about three years old. The 
.elder Hall had worked for Mr. Ranken for some years, and 
had always borne a good character. When Ben was old 
enough he had engaged as stockman with Mr. Hamilton, of 
Tomanbil. He saved money, and took up a small station 
for himself at the Pinnacle, about fifteen miles from Forbes. 
He married a daughter of another settler. He had no 
-. sympathy with the bushrangers when the outbreak under 
'Gardiner occurred, and the police frequently stopped for a 
night at his house when looking for the bushrangers near his 
station. His wife was of a flighty disposition, and was 
rseduced, it was said, by a police official, and Hall joined the 
:gang " to meet the man who ruined my happiness." Such 
was the story currently believed in the neighbourhood, and 
IBen was the only one of the bushrangers for whom the 


general public, apart from those who were related to or 
interested in them, felt any sympathy. Before " he took to 
the bush," he was known as a steady, industrious, kind- 
hearted young man, and numbers could scarcely believe that 
it was the same Ben Hall, the noted bushranger, of whom 
everybody was talking. 

The death of Ben Hall no doubt had a depressing effect 
on the bushrangers generally, but it by no means put an 
end to their depredations. On the nth May, a horse was 
stolen from Murrumburrah, and on the following day the 
horses at Mr. Furlonge's station were rounded up and a race- 
horse taken away, the Murrumburrah horse being left 
instead of it Information was immediately sent to the 
police, and a party, with the aid of a black tracker, followed 
the tracks towards Binalong. The place being near the 
house where Johnny Dunn's parents lived, the police camped 
near and watched the little township all night, but saw 
nothing to excite their suspicions. In the morning a lad 
named Thomas Kelly, brother of one or two convicted 
bushrangers, was asked whether any one was staying at 
his grandfather's house, and replied, "No." Constables 
Hales and King, however, walked up to old Kelly's place, 
and pushed the door open. Gilbert and Dunn were in the 
front room, and immediately fired at the police, who 
retreated. A few minutes passed, during which the police 
were looking to their revolvers, and then the two bush- 
rangers were seen to emerge by the back door and walk 
steadily down the paddock. The police followed, and some 
shots were exchanged. Near the fence the bushrangers 
made a stand, and there was a pause for a second or so. 
Then Constables Hales and Bright fired together, and 
Gilbert fell. Dunn jumped over the fence and dashed 
in among the trees. Some of the police followed, but he 
soon disappeared. On examination it was found that a 
bullet had entered Gilbert's breast and passed out below 
the left shoulder-blade, having travelled through the left 
ventricle of the heart. He was then about twenty-five 
years of age. Old Kelly was arrested and charged with 
having harboured bushrangers, and was sent to gaol. 

John Dunn, the last of this notorious trio, did not long 
survive his two mates. His record as given in the Yass 


Courier is very instructive. He joined Hall and Gilbert a 
few days after the capture of Mount and the wounding of 
Dunleavy, and on the 24th of October robbed Mr. Chisholm 
on the highway near Goulburn. On the 2 8th he stuck up 
Mr. Macansh's station. On the 28th robbed the Albury 
mail near Jugiong. On November the 8th robbed Mr. 
Rossi's station, near Goulburn. On the Qth robbed the 
Southern mail six miles from Goulburn. On the nth 
robbed the Yass mail on Breadalbane Plains. On the i5th 
robbed the Gundagai mail near Jugiong, and had a 
desperate fight with the police, Sergeant Parry being shot 
by Gilbert. On the iQth robbed Mr. Clarke's station at 
Bolero. On December igth stuck up the Goulburn mail 
near Towrang. On the 2 7th stuck up Mr. Morris's store at 
Binda, forced Mr. and Mrs. Morris to go to a ball, and 
finally burned his store and dwelling-house. On the 3oth 
stuck up Mr. Davidson and others on the Murrumburrah 
Plains. On January i9th, 1865, stuck up Mr. James 
Christie's store. On the 25th stuck up Mr. Ross and others 
on the Gap Road. On the 27th stuck up a number of 
carriers and the hotel at Collector, and shot Constable 
Nelson. On February 6th stuck up the Goulburn mail 
twelve miles from Goulburn. On the i8th stole racehorses 
from Messrs. McAlister's and Bowne's. On the 23rd had a 
desperate fight with the police on Bradalbane Plains, when 
several were wounded and the robbers lost their horses. 
On March i3th stuck up the Gundaroo mail near Geary's 
Gap. On the i4th attempted to rob the Araluen escort at 
Major's Creek, when one policeman was mortally wounded, 
two others put to flight, while the fourth beat off the 
bushrangers and saved the gold. On the 22nd seen at 
Gardiner's old haunt near the Pinnacle. On the 24th 
went to Mr. Atkin's place, near the Billabong Creek, 
had a good dinner and enjoyed themselves, besides feeding 
the horses they had stolen from Mr. Morton the day before. 
Left on the 25th, taking clothes for winter wear and about 
^90 in cash from Mr. Jones's store, Forbes. On April ist 
stuck up Mr. Sutton's station at Boramble. On the loth 
robbed Mr. Watt's Inn at Newra. On the nth robbed Mr. 
Gallimore's store and the White Horse Inn at Black Rock. 
On the 1 8th bailed up the Newbiggen Inn, organised a 


soiree dansante, and compelled all hands and the cook 
to take part in it. Afterwards robbed Mr. Lee's station at 
Larras Lake. On the 25th robbed Mr. Cropper's station on 
the Lachlan. On May 8th robbed two travellers on the 
Cowra Road, eighteen miles from Marengo. On the nth 
robbed Mr. Furlonge's station. On the i4th four policemen 
attacked the bushrangers near Binalong, when Gilbert was 
shot and Dunn wounded. On the i5th Dunn alone stuck 
up Julian's station, and took a racehorse, a saddle and 
bridle, and some food. He was not heard of again until 
December i8th, when he was recognised by the police near 
Mr. McPhail's station, Walgett, and pursued. He escaped, 
but two days later a man in whom he had confided gave 
information to the police as to his whereabouts, and a 
desperate struggle took place, Dunn being wounded in 
three places and Constable McHale also severely wounded ; 
Dunn, however, was captured. 

This record of the achievements of the gang during the 
time that Dunn was a member namely, from October 
24th, 1864, to May i5th, 1865, or rather less than seven 
months although not quite complete, serves to give a very 
vivid idea of the terrible scourge which the bushrangers 
were to the country. The gang was not more active during 
the time covered by this record than it had been before, or 
since it was first organised by Frank Gardiner in 1861, 
while some of the most extensive robberies committed by 
the gang belong to the earlier period. However, with the 
capture of Johnny Dunn this gang ceased to exist, and we 
have only to finish the story of his life before turning back 
to take notice of the proceedings of other gangs of bush- 
rangers in other parts of the colony. 

Constable McHale and John Dunn were conveyed as 
carefully as possible, and by slow stages, from Walgett to the 
lock-up at Dubbo, to be nursed back to health. After some 
weeks, Dunn appeared to be growing strong, and as his 
character was well known, it was deemed expedient to put 
him in irons. He resented this treatment, very naturally 
perhaps, and refused to eat. He groaned so continuously 
that he prevented McHale, who was in bed in the same 
room in the watch-house, from sleeping. The police were 
taken in by this shamming, and thought that Dunn was 


dying. They therefore took off his irons. The watch- 
house was an ordinary four-roomed weatherboard cottage 
with a verandah. It had been built as a residence for the 
local policeman. Behind, was a stronger building divided 
into two or three cells for the safe-keeping of the few evil- 
doers likely to be arrested in this settlement on the borders 
of civilisation. The sick men were in bed in the cottage, 
the window of which was only a couple of feet above the 
level of the plain on which the town of Dubbo stands. 
Dunn was not altogether shamming. He was very weak, 
but he was strong enough when his irons were removed to 
watch for an opportunity to escape. He placed his pillow 
length-ways in the bed, covered it with the sheet, which was 
the only covering required in that district at that time of the 
year, and placed a red silk handkerchief where his head was 
supposed to rest, as if to keep the flies or mosquitoes off his 
face. This was no doubt done to induce McHale, and 
any one else who came into the room, to believe that he 
was still sleeping. However, when daylight came, McHale 
saw that the thing in the other bed was not Dunn and 
pounded on the floor with a boot, being too weak to shout. 
At the time the police on duty in the next room were 
laughing and joking about something, and it was some 
minutes before McHale could make them hear. At length 
one of them came in, and on being told that Dunn was 
gone, gave the alarm. The tracks in the dust outside showed 
that the robber had simply stepped out of the window, 
which was kept open on account of the heat, and had made 
for the bush. It was Sunday morning, January nth, 1866, 
and very few people were about in the little town. The 
tracks were lost among the number of tracks in the road- 
way and there was no one to give the police any informa- 
tion as to the direction in which the bushranger had 
gone. Search parties were organised and sent out in all 

About two miles away a brickmaker was watching his 
kiln and gathering brushwood for his fire, although it was 
Sunday morning, when a man crawled out from behind a 
log and begged for a " drink of water, for God's sake." It 
was Dunn. He told the brickmaker who he was and begged 
him to lend him a horse to get away. " Only save me from 


hanging and I'll make it up to you," he cried, but the brick- 
maker refused. He went and caught his horse and rode 
into Dubbo to inform the police, who returned with him and 
recaptured the runaway. Dunn was forwarded to Bathurst 
without delay and was lodged in the gaol, while Smith, the 
brickmaker, was rewarded for the assistance he had rendered 
in effecting the recapture of the noted bushranger. 

By the latter end of February Dunn was sufficiently 
recovered from the effects of his wound to be placed on 
trial. He was charged with the murder of Constable Nelson. 
The evidence shows that a number of persons had 
been stuck up on the road between Taradale and Collector. 
They were marched to Kimberley's Hotel and taken inside 
by Hall and Gilbert, while Dunn remained outside in charge 
of the horses. Dunn called a boy, who was standing in the 
street and who chanced to be the son of Constable Nelson, 
and told him to hold the horses and not let them go unless 
he wanted his brains blown out. The party in the hotel 
were singing and dancing, and the constable hearing the 
noise walked from the watch-house to where his son was 
and asked him what was going on. The boy told him the 
bushrangers were there and the constable returned to his 
house for his gun. When he came back he did not see 
Dunn, who was hiding behind the fence, and walked towards 
the front door of the hotel, when he was shot as already 
related. Gilbert came to the door immediately and Dunn 

cried out " I've shot the trap." Gilbert walked to 

where the body was lying, turned it over, and took off the 
belt, saying " This is just what I wanted. I've lost mine." 
At that moment Hall came up and the three bushrangers 
took their horses and went off. Dunn was found guilty and 
sentenced to death. He was hung on March iQth, 1866. 
He was of slight build and only twenty-two years old when 
he died. 

Of the chief members of this gang Gardiner was 
sentenced to thirty-two years' penal servitude ; Vane sur- 
rendered owing to the influence of Father McCarthy and 
was sent to gaol for fifteen years ; Bow and Fordyce were 
sentenced to death, but their sentences were commuted to 
fifteen years' imprisonment ; Manns, Peisley, and Dunn were 
hanged; Lowry, Ben Hall, and Gilbert were shot by the 


police, and Burke and O'Meally by civilians ; Mount or 
" the Old Man " was sent to gaol for ten years. 

There were others who either claimed or were supposed 
to be members of this gang, but it is difficult to say with 
certainty how far these claims were justified. Some of these 
have already been referred to, and others will be mentioned 
further on. Probably some who intended to join the gang 
were captured before they had an opportunity to do so. 
Others merely said they had been out with Ben Hall or 
Johnny Gilbert on account of the kudos they gained 
among their fellows. However this may be, the majority of 
the members of this gang were quite young men, many of 
them little more than boys. Several were under twenty 
years of age, and all with the exception of Mount, sometime 
known as " the Old Man," under thirty. Their lives may 
have been exciting, but they were short, and none of them, 
with the exception of Gardiner perhaps, made any money by 
their robberies. They all died poor. 


Bloodthirsty Morgan ; Morgan's Opinion of the Police ; Murder of 
Sergeant McGinnerty ; Murder at the Round Hill Station ; A 
Pseudo Morgan ; Morgan Threatens to Brand all Hands ; lie 
Shoots Sergeant Smyth ; Challenged to Visit Victoria ; He 
Accepts the Challenge ; His Death at Peechelba. 

DANIEL MORGAN began his career as a bushranger shortly 
after the Great Escort Robbery, by sticking up travellers 
on the roads about Wagga Wagga. His headquarters 
generally were said to be in the huge patch of scrub, which 
stretched away southward, from the Murrumbidgee River 
across the low ranges between Wagga Wagga and Narran- 
dera. He was credited with being the most bloodthirsty 
of the New South Wales bushrangers after Willmore. We 
have seen that some of the members of the chief gang of 
this era held human life very cheaply, but it was the general 
opinion that, except in the case of a few Chinamen, these 
bushrangers murdered only when on the warpath. In many 
cases they met the police boldly, and fought with some 
degree of fairness; while Morgan, on more than one 
occasion, fired on unarmed, and in some cases sleeping men. 
For some months he pursued his career without much 
interference from the police, and it was said that some of 
the members of the Hall and Gilbert gang had made a raid 
to the Southern district. When it became apparent that 
he had no connection with that gang and continued his 
depredations alone, a party of police was detailed to hunt 
him down about the middle of 1863. In August of that 
year, this party of police tracked him for several days, and 
came on his camp on the 22nd. A desperate fight took 
place, in which Morgan's mate was severely wounded 


and crawled into the bush to die. This man was known 
as " German Bill." On the other side, Mr. Bayliss, J.P., 
a volunteer who accompanied the police, was severely 
wounded. He recovered, however, and was awarded 
a gold medal by the New South Wales Government 
for bravery in opposing bushrangers. Morgan made his 
escape in the scrub. Later on the same day a shepherd was 
shot dead on Brookong station, and it was supposed that 
the murderer was in league with Morgan. About Christmas 
Morgan with three companions watched the road, near 
Narrandera, with the intention of sticking-up several wealthy 
squatters who were in the habit of travelling to Melbourne 
at about that time of the year. Fortunately for themselves, 
they that year took a cross track, and thus escaped the 
meeting. While waiting Morgan took about 2lb. of cheese 
from a bullock driver named John Cole. There were 
several cheeses in the dray, and when Morgan said he 
should "like a bit" Cole offered him one, and told him 

to "take the lot." Morgan replied that "the traps 

would risk their necks climbing over the area railings for a 
leg of mutton. I don't know what they'd do for a whole 
cheese, but this lump's enough for me." He afterwards 
remarked that the police generally were "a sour milk lot." 

During the next few months robberies occurred in 
various parts of the extensive tract of country between 
Wagga Wagga and Deniliquin, and were, of course, all 
attributed to the Morgan gang. On April i6th, 1864, Mr. 
George Elliott, of Burrangong, with a stockman named 
Donnelly reached Deniliquin, with a mob of horses for sale. 
In consequence of some rumours which spread through the 
town, Mr. Elliott was closely questioned by the sergeant of 
police, and after some hesitation admitted that he had been 
stuck up by Morgan and robbed of 127 173. and a bay 
horse with saddle and bridle, on the road between 
Narrandera and Jerilderie. He said that when he got rid 
of his horses he would have to return home by the same 
route, and thought it prudent to hold his tongue, " the least 
said the soonest mended," as there was no saying whom he 
might meet on the road. 

In June, Sergeant McGinnerty and Constable Churchley 
were riding along the road to Tumberumba, when they 


overtook a horseman near Copabella. McGinnerty civilly 
said "Good-day" as they passed, in the usual Australian 
fashion. The man looked at him and replied, " Oh, you're 

one of the wretches looking for bushrangers, are you ? " 

and hastily drew a revolver and shot McGinnerty through 
the breast. The sergeant's horse bolted, and the bush- 
ranger galloped after him into the bush. Constable 
Churchley rode back to Copabella for assistance, and on his 
return with a party and fresh horses found McGinnerty's hat 
lying in the road, and opposite to it, at some distance away, 
the body. It was supposed that the bushranger had placed 
the hat on the road to indicate where the body was, and to 
facilitate its discovery. The robber must have ridden 
straight from the scene of this cold-blooded murder to the 
Round Hill station, where he mustered all the men and 
drove them into the carpenter's shop. He then went to the 
house, called out the proprietor, Mr. Watson, and led him 
to the door of the carpenter's shop. He enquired whether 
the men had sufficient rations. " If they haven't," said 
Mr. Watson, " they've only got to say so and they'll get 
more." " Well, I'm Dan Morgan, I just wanted to know, 
and you'd better give them a nobbier," replied the bush- 
ranger. Mr. Watson said he'd no objection to the men 
having a nobbier, and sent to the house. The messenger 
returned with four bottles of spirits, and each man was 
given a nobbier in a pannikin. The men laughed and took it 
as a good joke. One of them asked the bushranger 
whether he had "stolen his stirrup irons from Mr. Johnstone?" 
Morgan with a curse immediately drew his pistol, and fired 
into the room. The men ran out. Morgan followed them, 

shouting, "You wretches, do you want to give me 

away ? " He fired several times, until John McLean fell 
wounded. By this time the men had sheltered themselves 
behind trees. Seeing no one to shoot at Morgan dis- 
mounted, lifted McLean carefully on to his horse, and led 
the animal to the house. Mr. Watson and some of the 
women took McLean in, and Morgan mounted and rode 
away. Then it was discovered that another man, 
John Heriot, was lying wounded in the carpenter's shop. 
Heriot's injury consisted of a broken leg, and he was placed 
in a buggy and conveyed with as little delay as possible to 


the hospital at Albury. But McLean's wound was too 
serious to admit of his removal, and he died after lingering 
in pain for two or three days. At the inquest held on the 
body, Edward Smith, stockman at the Round Hill station, 
deposed that Morgan had called at the station two days 
after the attack to enquire how McLean was, and had sat at 
the bedside for several hours. At that time there were 
numerous parties of police and civilians searching the 
country round in all directions in hopes of finding him. A 
verdict of wilful murder was returned against Daniel Morgan 
on June 23rd, and a few days later a proclamation was 
issued by which the reward offered for his capture dead or 
alive was increased from ^500 to ^1000. 

A man walked into the bar of the Five Mile Creek Inn, 
near Bogolong, and called for a nobbier of brandy, which 
was supplied him. He then demanded another, which 
the barman refused to give him until he had paid for 
the one he had drank. " Be careful what you do," 
exclaimed the customer, " I'm Dan Morgan." He 
drew out a pistol, and the barman rushed from behind 
the counter, jumped through a window, and ran. The 
customer followed him to the window, but the barman 
could not say how much further. The barman, however, 
ran right round the house. When he returned to the 
window through which he had made his escape, he saw the 
bushranger's pistol lying on the sill. He grasped it, and 
having recovered from his momentary panic, walked into 
the bar in time to see the pseudo Morgan helping himself 
put of a bottle. The barman at once grappled with him, 
and the cook, the only other man in the house at the time, 
hearing the scuffling, came in. The man was soon secured, 
and in due time was handed over to the custody of the 
police. He was identified as a fiddler, who travelled about 
the country playing for a living. He was sent to gaol for a 
few months as a caution not to obtain grog again under 
false pretences by personating a bushranger. 

Morgan, with three mates, visited Yarribee station, stuck 
up Mr. Mate, the overseer, with two bushmen and the 
bullock-driver, and tied their hands behind them. He 
demanded the key of the store, which was given to him. 
Re opened the door and selected a quantity of articles 


which he packed on a horse. He served out tobacco, gin, 
and porter to the men whom he had made prisoners, having 
added several, who had arrived at the station after he began 
operations, to their number. The liquor had its effect, and 
some of the men became uproarious. Morgan swore at 
them and ordered them to be quiet, and as they did not 
obey he brought out the station brand P.T put it in the 
fire, and swore he would brand every one of them on the 
cheek. Whether the threat frightened the men into quiet- 
ness, or whether the bushranger thought better of his 
purpose, is not known. Morgan, however, rode away with 
his plunder without using the branding-iron. 

Under the heading "Comforting Bushrangers," the 
Deniliquin Chronicle of the i8th December said : " Mr. 

we hear has given orders that whenever Morgan calls 

at his station he is to be given everything he wants, and 
when he does not call food is to be taken into the bush and 
left for him." The paper goes on to accuse the unnamed 
squatter with "holding a candle to the devil." But it is 
difficult to see where the blame comes in. The stations 
were from twenty-five to fifty miles apart, and except at 
lambing and shearing times had few men employed on 
them. The police in the district were not very numerous, 
and even if they had been very much stronger than they 
were they could not have prevented a daring, reckless man 
like Morgan from setting fire to the grass. It was so easy 
at that time for even an offended" bushman to have revenge, 
for any real or supposed slight or injury, by starting a blaze 
which would destroy the grass over hundreds of square 
miles before it could be stopped, and this might go very 
far towards ruining a squatter. In face of this danger a few 
clothes or a quantity of food was a trifling loss. Certainly 
Morgan never did fire the grass, because, perhaps, there was 
no profit in it for himself, but there can be no doubt that 
he would have done it had he desired to have revenge on 
any particular run holder. 

One of the many stories told about the brutality of 
Morgan was that he went to a cattle station near Jerilderie, 
and asked to see the overseer. The overseer's wife 
informed him that her husband was away at a back station 
mustering and branding, and that she and the children were 


the only persons at home at the head station, Morgan 
replied that he was sorry for it. He'd travelled to the 
station specially for the purpose of shooting the 
overseer, who was too friendly with the police. He 
then demanded a sum of money which he said he 
knew the overseer had recently received. The woman 
declared that her husband had no money at the 
station, or if he had that she was not aware where he 
kept it. Morgan refused to believe her. He made her boil 
him a number of eggs, declaring that he would eat nothing 
else, as there was too much strychnine and arsenic about 
these stations. When these were ready he examined them 
carefully, rejecting all which had cracks in the shells and 
eating the sound ones only. He then made up the fire until 
there was a big blaze, when he once more asked her for the 
money, and as she persisted in declaring that she had none 
he seized her by the shoulders, forced her back until she 
was seated on the blazing logs, and held her there until her 
clothes were on fire. Then he allowed her to get up, and 
seizing a bucket of water standing near he dashed it over 
her to put the fire out. Nothwithstanding this she was 
severely burned. When he mounted and rode away he said 
he would soon be round again and hoped then to find the 
overseer at home. 

Sergeant Smyth and Constables Cannon, Baxter, and 
Reed, who were out seeking for the bushranger Morgan, 
camped one night in September near Kyamba. They had 
put up a tent and were seated inside. They had a candle 
and this threw their shadows on the canvas and afforded a 
magnificent mark, which the bushranger could not resist 
firing at. The shot wounded Sergeant Smyth, but he and 
the constables rushed out of the tent and blazed away, but 
without seeing their assailant. It was supposed that this 
attack was made by Morgan, but nothing was seen of the 
bushranger. Sergeant Smyth fired twice after being wounded 
and then he fainted. He was taken without delay to Doodal 
Cooma station and a doctor was found, but he never rallied 
and died a fortnight later. 

It was said that Morgan was on the Wagga Wagga race 
course at the Christmas races, and that he had lunch at the 
booth where the magistrates, the police inspectors, and the 


leading merchants and shopkeepers of the town went, and 
that afterwards he rode into the town itself without being 
recognised by the police. 

On March i8th, 1865, he stuck up Mr. Rand's station 
at Mohanga, collected all the men in one room, and ordered 
Mr. Rand to fetch some grog from the store. This having 
been done, Morgan asked one of the men whether he could 
play the concertina, and being answered in the affirmative, 
told him to get his instrument and "amuse the company." 
When all was ready the bushranger said to Mr. Rand : " I 
understand you are a good dancer. Will you favour the 
company with a reel ? " Mr. Rand said he should be only 
too pleased, and began at once. Morgan watched him 
critically and applauded every now and then, but when Mr. 
Rand stopped, he raised his pistol and said : " Once more, 
please, you dance very nicely," and thus he kept the squatter 
jigging till midnight, when he was allowed to retire. In the 
morning Morgan took from the store a quantity of clothing 
and some other articles, including a gun. He then asked 
for a horse, saddle, and bridle, to pack his plunder on, and 
got them. 

At Jerilderie, when engaged in one of his usual robberies, 
he spoke in the most contemptuous terms of the police. He 
said that the Victorian police had been blowing that they 
would soon catch him if he crossed the border, and declared 
that he would soon show them that they were no smarter 
than the New South Wales police, who were " frightened to 
go near any place where they thought they might 
find him." A Beechworth paper, commenting on this 
report, challenged Morgan to cross the Murray, and 
prophesied that if he dared to do so he would be either 
dead or in gaol within forty-eight hours. This challenge, 
it was said, gave great umbrage to the bushranger, who had 
apparently, owing, perhaps, to his long immunity from 
arrest, developed the belief that he was invincible. He was 
reported to have referred to it frequently, and to have 
asserted his intention to cross the Murray River and " take 
the flashness out of the Victorian people and police." 
Accordingly, early in April, he made a raid south of the 
Murray. Mounted on Mr. Bowler's racing mare, Victoria, 
Morgan stuck up Mr. McKinnon's station on the Little 


River. He crossed the King River, and set fire to 
Mr. Evans's barns and granary for " having shot my fingers 
off," an event which had taken place some time previously, 
in one of his many encounters on the " other side." Morgan 
then stuck up and robbed a number of carriers on the road 
between Wangaratta and Benalla. He also stuck up 
Mr. Warby's station, and on the evening of April 8th arrived 
at Peechelba station, owned by Messrs. Macpherson and 
Rutherford. Morgan rode up and knocked at the door of 
Mr. Macpherson's house. It was opened by Mr. Macpher- 
son's son. Morgan, pistol in hand, ordered him to bail up. 
Then everybody in the house were called in and compelled 
to range themselves in line along the wall of the dining- 
room. A housemaid named Alice Macdonald, thinking he 
was joking, refused to stand up against the wall " like a 
child." Morgan* took her by the arm to force her into line, 
when she smacked his face. Raising his pistol he said, 
" My young lady, I must take the flashness out of you. Do 
you know who I am ? " " No," replied the girl. " Well, 
I'm Morgan. Will you take your place ? " The girl pouted 
but did as she was told. Morgan placed two revolvers on 
the table and sat down. He said he had had no sleep for 
three nights, but he hoped to return to New South Wales next 
day and have a good sleep. He asked a servant to make him 
some tea and allowed her to leave the room . Then he said that 
he had heard music as he approached the house, and he asked 
which of the ladies played ? On being told " Miss 
Macpherson," he asked her to favour him with a tune. She 
replied " Certainly, Mr. Morgan." " Call me Morgan," he 
said, " I hate to be Mistered." Mr. Macpherson asked him 
what had induced him to lead such a life ? " "I was forced 
to it," he replied. " I was tried at Castlemaine for a crime 
of which I was innocent and received a heavy sentence. 
Well, I escaped from the stockade and there you are. What 
else could I do ? " 

The party sat all night, and Morgan chatted freely, but 
his vigilance relaxed so that Alice Macdonald contrived to 
slip out without being seen and went to Mr. Rutherford's 
house, about a quarter of a mile away, and informed Mr. 
Rutherford of what had taken place. She went back again 
immediately in case the bushranger should miss her. 


Morgan informed the company that he was born at Appin, 
in New South Wales, and that his parents were still living. 
In the meantime Mr. Rutherford mustered all the men 
on the station and despatched a messenger to the police 
at Wangaratta. He posted sentinels all round Mr. 
Macpherson's house, hiding them behind bushes or any 
other cover. In the morning Morgan ate a hearty breakfast 
and then walked out on the verandah. Mr. Macpherson 
invited him to take a glass of whisky and poured out some 
for himself. Morgan replied that he rarely drank. He was 
almost a teetotaller. However, not wishing to appear 
churlish, he accepted half a glass. He went into a bedroom 
to wash his hands and face and comb his hair, and Alice 
Keenan, one of the servants, took advantage of the oppor- 
tunity to carry a can of coffee to the watchers outside. 
When Morgan had washed he stepped out on the verandah 
again and reminded Mr. Macpherson that he had promised 
to let him have a fresh horse. Mr. Macpherson replied that 
he had not forgotten it. He called to his son and they 
walked together towards the paddock to catch the horse, 
while Morgan waited on the verandah. They had not gone 
far, however, when Morgan started to follow them, and 
John Quinlan shot him from behind a bush. The bush- 
ranger fell, crying "Why didn't you challenge me?" He 
was carried indoors, and every attention possible was paid to 
him, but he died at about half-past one, or, as nearly as 
could be ascertained, forty-eight hours after he crossed the 
Victorian border. 

The ;iooo reward was divided as follows : John 
Quinlan ^300; Alice Macdonald ^250; James Frazer, 
who rode into Wangaratta and back forty-two miles in 
three hours and a-half, 200 ; Donald Clarke, who fetched 
guns from the school house, cleaned and loaded them, 
;ioo; Alice Keenan, who communicated between the 
parties inside and outside the house, ^50. The remaining 
.100 were given to Mr. Rutherford and Inspector Singleton 
(5 each) to be divided among the civilians and the police 
who took part in the capture, according to the merits of their 

The news of the death of Morgan was received generally 
throughout Australia with satisfaction. There were a few 


people whose love of fair play impelled them to express the 
opinion that he should have been challenged, but the 
majority held that he was little better than a wild beast, and 
should be treated accordingly. He had given no notice to 
Sergeants McGinnerty and Smyth, nor to the unarmed men 
among whom he had fired at the Round Hill Station, and 
it is doubtful whether those who declared that he should 
have been accorded "fair play" would, knowing the 
character of the man, have risked their lives by challeng- 
ing him in circumstances similar to those in which he 
was captured. There was a tendency among a portion of 
the people of Victoria to glorify that colony at the expense 
of the mother colony over the capture of Morgan. It was 
said that bushrangers would never receive the public 
sympathy and support in Victoria which they did in New 
South Wales, and attributed this to the fact that Victoria 
had never had a penal settlement within its borders. There 
has always been an absurd jealousy between the people of 
Melbourne and those of Sydney, and there can be no doubt 
that it has been somewhat of a disadvantage to the colonies 
generally. In this case there is no ground for believing that 
the character of the people of New South Wales, which was 
a penal colony, differs in any essential degree from that of 
the people of any other portion of Australia. As a matter 
of fact, the Australias are so intimately connected together, 
it is so easy for the residents of one colony to make their 
way into any other colony, and the people as a body are 
more prone to moving about than those of any other 
civilised country, that any claim of superiority either in 
extraction, morals, or in any other particular, by the 
residents of any one colony over those of any other colony 
is absurd. It is true that there was no English penal settle- 
ment within the present bounds of the colony of Victoria, 
but in former times that colony was a portion of the penal 
colony of New South Wales, while the founders of 
Melbourne came from another penal colony, namely, Van 
Diemen's Land. Many of the early settlers were emanci- 
pated convicts from either one or the other of these penal 
settlements. But even if this had not been the case, the 
whole population of Australia was so thoroughly intermixed 
during the great rushes to the Victorian diggings that there 


is absolutely no excuse for any pretence of superiority on 
this account in this the smallest of the colonies on the main 
land. I do not say this out of any ill-feeling towards 
Victoria, or with the desire to glorify any other colony, 
at her expense, but simply to point out the folly of such 
petty and absurd jealousies as have tended to keep the 
colonies apart hitherto. As a plain matter of fact South 
Australia is the only one of the seven colonies which can 
claim not to have had a convict origin. That colony was 
founded directly from England by a syndicate. All the 
other colonies were either portions of or were founded from 
New South Wales, about the convict origin of which colony 
there can be no doubt. But even South Australia, wedged in 
as it is between what have been two convict colonies, could 
not escape the contagion. But, judging from the statistics, 
Australia as a whole does not appear to have suffered much, 
now that the bushrangers have been disposed of. The 
percentage of crime in each of the colonies is lower than 
in most other civilised communities, and the "convict 
colonies," as they were called, do not show a higher per- 
centage of crime than the " free colonies." I have already 
pointed out that the condition of Victoria, during the years 
1853-55, was worse than that of any of the so-called convict 
colonies at any time, so far as the number and ferocity of 
the bushrangers were concerned, and we shall soon see that 
Victoria can produce native-born bushrangers as well as 
New South Wales. Only a few months after the poeans of 
self-glorification had been sung by the Victorian press over 
the death of Morgan in that colony, the same papers 
lamented the fact that while bushranging appeared to have 
been stamped out in the mother colony, it still flourished in 


The Brothers Clarke ; The Raid at Nerigundah ; Deaths of William 
Fletcher and Constable O'Grady ; Murder of Four Special 
Constables at Jinden ; Annie Clarke at Goulburn ; Capture of 
Thomas and John Clarke ; A Terrible Record ; A Plucky 
Woman; An Attempt to Escape Custody; "Shoot Away, I 
Can't Stop You " ; Some Daring Robberies ; Murder and 
Cremation of the Brothers Pohlmann ; Blue Cap. 

THE brothers Clarke, of Manaro, although they did not 
belong to the Gardiner gang, were more or less closely 
connected with it. There were three of them, Thomas, 
James, and John, and their education was on similar lines 
to that which I have described as prevalent in the Western 
Ranges. They were cattle duffers and horse planters until 
the police began to enquire too closely into their mode of 
life, when they "took to the bush." James was probably 
saved from the more elevated fate of his elder and younger 
brothers by being arrested on suspicion of having been 
concerned with Ben Hall, Johnny Gilbert, and others in 
the robbery of the Cowra mail, but as the evidence of his 
presence on that occasion was inconclusive he was acquitted, 
and charged with having received stolen property, a number 
of the bank-notes stolen from the mail having been found in 
his possession. He was convicted, and was sentenced to 
seven years' penal servitude on January 12, 1865. He was 
probably kept out of mischief during the troublous times by 
this imprisonment. Thomas and John, the eldest and 
youngest of this interesting family, operated over the district 
in which the redoubtable Jackey Jackey first earned his 
notoriety as a bushranger, but they did not confine their 
operations within any strictly defined limits, and therefore 


they, as it may be said, overlapped with the Hall and 
Gilbert gang. The elder brother Thomas was arrested 
in October, 1864, on a charge of highway robbery, but 
contrived to effect his escape from the Braidwood gaol. 
He stole several racehorses from residents in the neigh- 
bourhood of Jembaicumbene and Mericumbene, stuck 
up the Araluen mail, robbed the Post Office at Michelago, 
besides sticking-up and robbing numbers of travellers on 
the roads about Braidwood and Moruya. On January 1 2th, 
the very day on which his brother James was being tried, 
he stuck up Mr. George Summer's store at Jembaicumbene, 
and on the following day he bailed up John Frazer and 
Kenneth Matheson, on Major's Creek Mount, and robbed 
them of ^36 i os. in money, and a bank draft for a large 
amount. In these enterprises he was assisted by several 
young men and lads residing in the district. In April, 
Thomas Clarke, Patrick Connell, Tom Connell, William 
Fletcher, and two or three other young men were returning 
home from the racecourse at Bega, where races had been 
held, when Clarke stuck up a Chinaman, who was travelling 
from the Gulph Diggings, and took his gold and money. A 
little farther along the road the party met the mail boy, and 
Clarke compelled him to exchange his horse, saddle, and 
bridle for those stolen from the Chinaman. Some miles 
from the scene of this outrage the party met Mr. John 
Emmott, and ordered him to bail up; but he, having a 
considerable amount of gold and money about him, wheeled 
his horse and started to gallop away. By this time others 
of the party had become excited, and several of them 
chased Emmott, and fired their revolvers at him. Emmott 
fell wounded and his horse was killed. About 100 
in money and a parcel of gold dust was taken from him, and 
the party went on, leaving Mr. Emmott to make his way to 
where he could obtain surgical aid as best he could. On 
the following day they arrived at the Gulph Diggings, stuck 
up Mr. Pollock's store, and stole between two hundred and 
three hundred ounces of gold, besides all the money that 
they could find. On leaving the store they met Charles 
Nash in the street, and Clarke greeted him with " Hullo, 
Charlie, back from the Bega races ? " " Yes," replied Nash. 
"Then fork out," cried Clarke, bringing out his revolver. 


Nash at first thought this was a joke, and began to laugh, 
but on the remainder of the gang crowding round and 
presenting their revolvers in a threatening manner he put 
his hand in his pocket, took out about thirty shillings, and 
handed it over with the remark, " That's all I've got." He 
was then permitted to pass on. Fletcher then led the way 
to the butcher's shop owned by R. Drew, and, putting his 
revolver to the butcher's head, told him to "shell out." 
Drew put his hands behind him and made no reply. Then 
the rest of the gang crowded in and called for a light, 
declaring their intention to search the place. Drew told 
them to "clear out." They refused, and threatened to 
shoot him. The dispute grew so loud that it reached the 
ears of Constable Miles O'Grady, the only policeman 
stationed on the little diggings, who was ill in bed. 
O'Grady got up and dressed, and went to the butcher's 
shop. He enquired what the row was about, and ordered 
the crowd to leave the shop. Fletcher turned round and 
fired at the constable, but missed. O'Grady immediately 
returned the fire, and Fletcher fell dead. One of Fletcher's 
mates then shot O'Grady, who died a few days later. The 
bushrangers rushed to their horses, mounted, and galloped 
away out of the township. The Moruya Examiner said 
that William Fletcher was little more than a boy, and was 
born in the district. He had ridden in the St. Patrick's 
Day races on March i yth at Mullenderee only a few weeks 
before. His father was a farmer in the district, and had 
always borne a good character. The boy had been digging 
for gold at Araluen, Nerrigundah, The Gulph, and other 
diggings in that neighbourhood. It was his first essay at 
bushranging. His mind had prob'ably been inflamed by 
the stories told of Gardiner, Ben Hall, and Johnny Gilbert, 
and he had been induced to endeavour to emulate their 
actions by the boastings of Thomas Clarke. Several 
young men who had taken part in this fray returned home 
afterwards, and were arrested by the police. Some of them 
were acquitted on account of their previous good character, 
and because there was no evidence to prove that they had 
done more than accompany the robbers. Thomas Clarke, 
his uncle Patrick Connell, his cousin Tom Connell, with 
Bill Scott and one or two others, who escaped to the 


ranges, continued to commit depredations similar to those 
described in the previous chapter. 

In September, 1866, John Carrol, Patrick Kennagh, 
Eneas McDonnell, and John Phegan were sent by the police 
authorities to the Braidwood district, to assist the police in 
the capture of the Clarke gang. Phegan had been mining 
in the district and was well acquainted with the ranges. He 
paid a visit to Mrs. Clarke, and was received with some 
suspicion as a stranger. On his second visit Mrs. Clarke 
and her two daughters became quite friendly, and asked 
Phegan to write out a petition in favour of her second son 
James, who was a prisoner on Cockatoo Island. The party 
camped as if engaged in surveying, and Phegan said that 
Kennagh knew more about writing out petitions than he did. 
He therefore took Kennagh to the place and introduced him 
to Mrs. Clarke. They wrote out the petition and left. 
During the next few days they saw the girls frequently. In 
the absence of their brothers these girls looked after the 
cattle, and were riding about the ranges every day. They 
passed the camp several times and spoke in a friendly 
manner. On the 4th of October, the party had been 
pretending to survey a flat, and under this pretence had 
searched a gunyah hidden among the timber. This gunyah 
was believed to be one of the rendezvous of the bushrangers, 
and was closely watched in the hopes that the bushrangers 
might visit it. On the day named, the special constables 
had finished their work and were standing round the camp 
fire, when a gun was fired, and the bullet passed between 
the men and struck the tree against which the fire was built 
The party had their guns ready and returned the fire, 
although they could not see what they were shooting at 
In the morning a flask half full of powder was picked up, 
but this gave no indication as to who had attacked the party. 
After this no pretence of friendship was made, and Carrol 
and the party under his charge openly took up the pursuit of 
the bushrangers, penetrating the mountains and searching 
everywhere where they thought it probable that the bush- 
rangers might camp. In January, 1867, the bodies 
of the four men were found near their camp on the Jinden 
station in the Jingera ranges, in the Braidwood district. 
How or when they were shot is not known, but it is 


supposed that they were somehow drawn into an ambush 
and shot down. Carrol's body was lying on its back, and a 
handkerchief thrown across it with a one pound note 
pinned to it. The bodies of Carrol and Kennagh were 
close together, while the other two were half a mile away. 
Three revolvers were lying beside Phegan. One of the men 
had 14 on him, and another 19. The bodies were 
found by Mr. Edward Smith's stockman when riding 
through the ranges after cattle, on the Qth January, and 
as they were in an advanced state of decomposition, they 
must have been there for several days. The Governor, Sir 
John Young, immediately issued a proclamation, calling 
upon magistrates, freeholders, and all other of Her Majesty's 
subjects, resident in the police districts of Braidwood, 
Browlee, Qeanbeyan, Eden, Bega, and Cooma to assist the 
police in the capture of the "notorious outlaw, Thomas 
Clarke, whose life is forfeit to the laws of his country." The 
Colonial Secretary, (Mr. afterwards Sir) Henry Parkes, offered 
a reward of ^5000 for the capture of the persons guilty of 
murdering the four special constables. A free pardon was 
also offered to any accomplice, not being the actual 
murderer. Carrol, Kennagh, and Phegan had been warders 
in Darlinghurst gaol, and had volunteered to attempt the 
capture of the bushranger Clarke, and McDonnell was an 
ex-policeman who had accumulated a considerable sum of 
money in business, and was about to visit Ireland, his 
native country, but who volunteered to join this party before 
going home. The firing had been heard at Jinden station, 
three miles from the camp, but no notice had been taken, as 
it was attributed to opossum hunters. According to the 
medical evidence, the men were killed with rifle bullets fired 
at close range not more than twenty yards. Phegan and 
McDonnell were first shot, McDonnell only having one 
wound, which was fatal. Phegan was shot in the right side, 
and appears to have turned over after falling, and to have 
been then shot on the other side to finish him. Carrol and 
Kennagh appear to have been kneeling when shot, and had 
perhaps surrendered. The ostentatious disregard of the 
money on the bodies shows, said the Sydney Morning 
Herald, that revenge and not plunder was the object of the 


No certain knowledge as to how these men came to their 
death has since been arrived at. According to rumour three 
of them were shot by Thomas Clarke and the fourth by Bill 
Scott, who was afterwards wounded in a brush with the police, 
and as is believed killed by Clarke, as the bushranger known 
as German Bill had been killed by Morgan, to prevent him 
from falling into the hands of the authorities and being 
induced to give evidence against his former companions. In 
both cases, however, the end of the missing bushranger is 

At the Criminal Sessions, held in Goulburn in April, 
1867, Thomas Cunningham, Charles Hugh Gough, alias 
Wyndham, alias Bennett, James Baldwin, and Harry Brown 
were each sentenced to fifteen years' imprisonment for various 
acts of bushranging in various parts of the district. William 
Johnson for robbing and shooting at a man received a 
sentence of only two years. Several of these bushrangers 
came from the neighbourhood of Braidwood, and the Yass 
Courier reported that Annie Clarke, one of the sisters of the 
bushrangers, stayed in Goulburn during the time that the 
sessions lasted, her visit doubtless being one of sympathy 
with some of the prisoners. She was about twenty years of 
age, with a fine figure and good features. She was observed 
to change her costume four times in one day. In the morning 
she was very quietly dressed. Later she came out in a 
second costume, also very quiet and neat But in the 
afternoon she walked about the streets in blood red silk, with 
red hat and feathers to match, and later towards evening she 
came out in a bright blue silk dress, white shawl, and a hat 
with white feathers. 

At Wellington, in the same month, John Kelly was 
sentenced to fourteen years' hard labour, the first two in 
irons, for highway robbery. 

At this time the reward offered for the capture of Thomas 
Clarke was raised to ^1000, while ^500 was offered for his 
brother John, who had just "turned out." A similar sum 
was offered for the capture of Bill Scott, whose death had 
not then been ascertained, or for any other member of the 

On April 26th, Senior Constable Wright, and Constables 
James Wright, Lenehan, Walsh, and Egan, with the assis- 


tance of a black tracker known as Sir Watkin Wynne, 
tracked the bushrangers to a hut not far from where the 
four special constables had been murdered. The hut or 
cottage stood in a small cultivation paddock in which there 
was a small haystack. The constables watched the hut 
from behind this haystack until morning. At daybreak two 
racehorses were seen feeding behind the hut, and Constable 
Walsh, making a detour round the hut so as not to be heard 
by the occupants, walked down and caught these horses. He 
was leading them towards the haystack when the door 
opened and the two brothers Clarke came out of the house 
and fired at him. The other troopers immediately rushed 
forward from behind the stack and summoned the Clarkes 
to surrender. They made no reply, but went inside and 
shut the door. The police then took up positions, Constable 
Lenehan with Sir Watkin stopping at the stack with the 
horses at about two hundred yards from the hut and nearly 
facing it. The Senior Constable and Constable Wright 
went to a fallen tree about fifty yards to the right of the 
hut, while Constables Egan and Walsh went to about the 
same distance to the left, where there was no cover. The 
paddock in which the house stood had been recently 
ploughed, and the heavy rains which had fallen made the 
ground difficult to travel over. The hut was built of slabs, 
and these had shrunk away from each other, leaving inter- 
stices through which the bushrangers could point their guns 
and revolvers. The bushrangers kept up an irregular fire 
until Constable Walsh was wounded in the thigh and Sir 
Watkin in the shoulder, when the other four troopers made a 
rush, forced open the door, and entered. The bushrangers sur- 
rendered. They had two revolvers, two double-barrelled guns, 
two revolving rifles, one single-barrelled gun, and a horse 
pistol. The tracker's wound was so severe that he had to have 
his arm amputated, and he bore the operation with the stoical 
indifference of his race. He walked downstairs from the 
upper ward of the Braidwood Hospital to the dissecting 
room, and after his arm had been cut off and the stump 
bound up he walked up again as coolly "as if he had 
merely had his finger punctured," said the Braidwood 
Dispatch. He was supposed to be about fifty years of age, 
and was well-built and " handsome for a blackfellow." He 


was promoted to the rank of sergeant-major, and had two 
stripes placed on his arm, of which he was very proud. 
Senior Constable William Wright was made sub-inspector, 
and the other constables engaged were promoted and 

Thomas and John Clarke were placed on trial charged 
with having wounded Constable Walsh and Black Tracker 
Sir Watkin, while in the execution of their duty. In two 
years Thomas Clarke had committed nine mail robberies, 
and had stuck up and robbed thirty-six individuals, some of 
whom had been wounded. He was also suspected of having 
caused the deaths of at least two persons. John Clarke had 
taken part in twenty-six of these robberies. They were 
found guilty, and the Chief Justice the late Sir Alfred 
Stephen in his address said : " I never knew a bushranger 
(except one who is now suffering sentences aggregating 
thirty-two years) who made any money by it. . . . I 
will read you a list of bushrangers . . . many of them 
young men, capable of better things, but who died violent 
deaths. Peisley executed ; Davis sentenced to death ; 
Gardiner sentenced to thirty-two years' hard labour ; Gilbert 
shot dead ; Hall shot dead ; Bow and Fordyce sentenced to 
death, but their sentences commuted to imprisonment for 
life ; Manns executed ; O'Meally shot dead ; Burke shot 
dead ; Gordon sentenced to death ; Dunleavy sentenced to 
death ; Dunn executed ; Lowry shot dead ; Vane a long 
sentence ; Foley a long sentence ; Morgan shot dead ; your- 
selves, Thomas and John Clarke, about to be sentenced to 
death ; Fletcher shot dead ; Patrick Connell shot dead ; Tom 
Connell sentenced to death, but sentence commuted to 
imprisonment for life ; Bill Scott, a companion of your own, 

believed to have been murdered by you The 

list shows six shot dead and ten wounded 

Unfortunately there were seven constables shot dead and 
sixteen wounded in three years .... since 1863. 

The murders believed to have been 

committed by you bushrangers are appalling to think of. 
How many wives have been made widows, how many 
children orphans, what loss of property, what sorrow you 

have caused ! and yet, these bushrangers, 

the scum of the earth, the lowest of the low, the most 


wicked of the wicked, are occasionally held up for our 
admiration ! But better days are coming. It is the old 
leaven of convictism not yet worked out, but brighter days 
are coming. You will not live to see them, but others will." 

Sentence was then passed in the usual form, and the 
brothers were hung on June 25th, 1867. 

Meanwhile robberies were frequent in other districts. 
Mrs. Colonel Pitt, with her daughter and Mrs. Colonel 
Campbell, were driving along the Mechanics' Bay Road, 
near the Domain, Forbes, when a servant who was leading 
the horses at the time was knocked down by an armed man. 
Another robber tried to seize the reins, but Mrs. Pitt stood 
up in the buggy and raised them out of his reach. She 
brought the butt of the whip so heavily down on 
the bushranger's head that he fell. Mrs. Pitt shouted 
and whipped the horses, and they galloped up the hill 
and did not stop until they reached Parnell, where the 
police were informed of what had occurred. A couple 
of troopers immediately started down the road, and found 
the servant lying where the outrage was said to have been 
perpetrated. He had been severely beaten, but was still alive. 
He was taken without any unnecessary delay to the hospital 
at Forbes, where he subsequently recovered. The robbers 
were tracked and followed and were captured next day, 
March 5th, 1865. They were Richard Middleton, alias 
Ruggy Dick, John Wilson, and Thomas Tracey. They were 
tried, convicted, and sent to gaol for long periods. 

On the 20th a man went into Richardson's Inn, Evans' 
Plains, and ordered those in the bar to "bail up." He 
obtained about ^5. He had been travelling on foot, but 
when he left the bar he mounted a horse, belonging to one 
of the men he had robbed, and which was hitched to a 
verandah post, and rode straight into Bathurst, where he was 
captured while spending the money he had stolen in the bar 
of a public house. 

On the 1 9th, two armed men rode up to Mr. Ryan's 
house, on the Burrowa River, and ordered Mrs. Ryan to 
hand out her money. She refused, and one of the ruffians 
struck her with the butt of his revolver. An old man named 
Billy Dunn, who worked on the farm, jumped up from the 
table where he was at dinner to protect his mistress, when 


the other bushranger ordered him to sit down again, 
adding, "I'll shoot you if you interfere." The leader 
again demanded the money, and Mrs. Ryan struck him in 
the face, when he fired and wounded her on the knee. As 
she fell he struck her again with the pistol. They ransacked 
the house, and at length found a roll containing ^94 in 
bank notes, which the old couple had just received by 
the Sydney mail. They also took a nugget of gold and 
several rings, brooches, and other articles of jewellery. The 
robbers were supposed to live in the neighbourhood and to 
have known that the money had been received from Sydney. 
They kept their faces covered, however, and the police 
could not obtain a description which would enable them to 
identify any persons as the robbers. 

The Bathurst mail was stuck up and robbed on 
February 2nd, 1866, near Pulpit Hill, by two young men 
named Seymour and John Ford, who were followed and 
captured next day. 

On the 1 4th of April, 1866, Sergeant John Healey, with 
Constables William Raymond, Edward William Mitchell, 
and Andrew Kilpatrick, left Berrima in charge of eleven 
prisoners, whom they were to take to the gaol in Sydney. 
The prisoners were seated in the body of the coach, and were 
connected together by " a marching chain," to which their 
handcuffs and leg irons were attached. The police were 
armed each with a short carbine and a revolver. The three 
constables sat in the body of the coach with the prisoners, 
while the sergeant sat on the box seat with the driver and a 
passenger named Whatmore. The coach stopped for change 
of horses at Bargo Brush, and the prisoners were taken out 
of the coach into the public-house yard. One of them, 
Thomas Berryman, produced keys with which to unlock the 
handcuffs from his pocket, and asked Webster, another 
prisoner, whether he would be one to "rush the police." 
Webster said " No," as he had only twelve months to serve, 
and was then threatened with vengeance if he informed the 

police, and was called "a hound," and a coward. 

Webster therefore promised to say nothing as to what the 
other prisoners proposed to do. After the halt the prisoners 
were again placed in the coach, and when they had travelled 
about three miles they made a sudden and combined rush 


on the constables. The prisoners who engaged in this 
mutiny were James Crookwell, William Lee, Thomas Berry- 
man, John Owens, and Michael Slattery. Five others, 
Webster, Bland, Foster, Hindmarsh, and Smith, sat still and 
helped neither party. They had refused to join in the 
attempt at escape, but had promised not to give 
warning to the police. Crookwell snatched a revolver 
from Constable Raymond's belt and shouted, " Shoot the 
." Raymond had been seized by two of the prisoners, 
but he shook himself free and jumped out of the coach. 
Sergeant Healey was also seized by some of the 
prisoners, who attempted to drag him backwards into the 
coach. He also got free and jumped down : he ran to the 
side of the coach and called to the prisoners to surrender, 
and as they did not do so, he pulled the trigger, but the 
rifle missed fire. Crookwell had got a revolver in his hand, 
and was struggling with Constable Kilpatrick, and Healey 
made a blow at the convict with the gun but struck an iron 
bar in the coach and smashed the stock. Healey then 
threw away his rifle and drew his revolver. He fired and 
wounded Slattery, but at the same time Constable Raymond 
fell. Bland and Slattery were also wounded, and then the 
prisoners gave in. The passenger, Mr. Robert Whatmore, a 
publican at Bargo Brush, had got on to the coach when it 
left his place to go to Picton. He had his coat torn in the 
struggle. When it was over he borrowed a horse and rode 
to Picton for a doctor. The body of Constable Raymond 
and the wounded prisoners were put into the coach, and the 
sergeant and constables walked until they were met by the 
police from Picton. When tried, the prisoners denied 
having shot Constable Raymond, and said that he had 
been killed by the fire from the police guns. This, however, 
was denied by all the witnesses in the case. The six 
prisoners named were found guilty of murder, and were all 
sentenced to death. 

Sergeant Grainger and Constable Carroll chased a young 
man on the Carcour Road on suspicion that he was a bush- 
ranger. When asked by the sergeant where he was going, 
he replied, "Looking for work." The sergeant made him 
unstrap a coat which was fastened across the pommel of his 
saddle, and a small revolver was found in it. "What do 


you carry that for?" inquired the sergeant. "For protec- 
tion," was the reply. The sergeant then snatched 
away the coat and saw that the man had a large revolver 
in his hand. He was told that if he attempted to raise 
this weapon he would be shot at once, and seeing 
that escape was impossible he surrendered and allowed 
the police to handcuff him. Then the sergeant opened 
his vest to ascertain what caused a protuberance there, 
and found a pair of false whiskers and moustaches. He 
was identified as John Miles, who had raided the Chinese 
Camp at Mookerawa, besides committing several highway 
robberies on Evans' Plains and in the neighbourhood of 
Orange. He was sent to gaol for ten years, the Judge saying 
that the prisoner had used less violence than was usual with 
bushrangers, and had not ill-treated the Chinamen further 
than by taking their gold. 

Henry Evans, a settler at Little Plains, near Burrowa, 
was stuck up by two armed men on January 7th, 1867. 
When asked to give up his money he said that he had none. 
He never had more than a few shillings in the house. This 
was disbelieved, and the bushrangers threatened to take him 
out and shoot him. " Shoot away," he replied coolly, " I 
can't stop you." They tied him up and ransacked the place, 
breaking the furniture and even stamping on Mrs. Evans's 
best bonnet. Being unable to find any money they made a 
bundle of some clothing and strapped it on a pack-horse. 
Evans complained that the rope with which his hands were 
bound was cutting his wrists. " Serve you right," exclaimed 
the bushranger, " you deserve no better." 

Mr. Kelly's store on the One Mile Creek, Emu Creek 
Goldfield, was stuck up by John Kerr, alias Maher, and 
John Shepherd. Kelly, with his wife and children, and a man 
named Gibbons were locked up in a back room while the 
robbers were making a bundle of clothing, drapery, and 
other articles in the store. Gibbons, however, succeeded 
in forcing open a back window, without being heard by the 
robbers, and making his escape. He ran to the police 
station and gave information, but the robbers discovered his 
escape before the arrival of the police, and decamped 
without their booty. This, however, did not save them. 
They were followed and captured by Sergeant O'Donnell 


and Constable McGlone. They were convicted of more 
than one robbery on the Cowra Road. 

On Saturday night, June 8th, Cummings, while awaiting 
his trial for highway robbery, made an attempt to escape 
from the Bathurst Gaol. He filed a link of the chain of 
his leg-irons with a small pocket knife, which he had somehow 
procured, tore up two boards from the floor of his cell, 
crawled under the joists and scraped away the mortar so as 
to loosen several bricks in the gaol wall. The opening was 
only about ten inches square, but he contrived to squeeze 
through. Of course, when his cell was found empty on the 
Sunday morning, the excitement in the gaol was very great, 
but Mr. Forbes, the head gaoler, soon found the prisoner 
seated in the summer house in his private garden. " Here I 
am," cried the bushranger ; " I did my best, but could not 
succeed." The prisoner had found some pieces of scantling 
in the outer yard, but they were not long enough to enable 
him to reach the top of the wall which encloses the gaol 
yard. An examination into the state of the gaol showed 
that the boards were quite rotten, and that the walls them- 
selves were not very strong, the bricks being quite soft and 

Several bullock-drivers were stuck up by John Egan and 
Patrick Ryan on the Orange Road, in August, 1867. On 
the 1 6th Robert and John Tait, father and son, and Edward 
Barrell were camped together when the bushrangers rode 
up and ordered them to " fork out." The robbers took all 
their money and some articles from the drays. On the iQth 
they repeated the operation on some other bullock-drivers. 
They were followed by Sergeant Rush and Constable 
Lawrence and arrested about forty-five miles from where the 
robberies were committed. At the Bathurst Assizes the 
prisoners called seven witnesses to prove an alibi, but they 
contradicted each other under cross-examination, and on 
the prisoners being found guilty his Honour, Judge Hargrave, 
directed that they should be prosecuted for perjury. The 
prisoners were sentenced to fifteen years' imprisonment. 
Another bushranger, John Foran, who was convicted on 
three charges, was also sentenced to fifteen years. 

Patrick Fitzgerald, alias Paddy Wandong, was charged at 
Wellington on October 2ist, 1867, with having on the 2ist 


December bailed up Thomas Goodall, a free selector, on the 
Castlereagh River. The prisoner rushed into the house in 
the night and ran into the bed-room. Mr. Goodall was 
sitting in another room and heard his wife scream and cry 
" Don't kill me." The prisoner, who was a half-caste, seized 
her by the throat and pulled her out of bed. The other 
man, Ted Kelly, stuck up Mr. Goodall. The prisoner said 
he was at Curbin, five miles away, but as he was positively 
identified and was well-known in the district he was con- 
victed and sentenced to fifteen years' hard labour. The 
judge said that Kelly had been tried for his share in the 
crime and had been sentenced nearly twelve months since. 
Circumstances connected with bushranging had greatly 
altered since then, and this would naturally induce him to be 
less severe ; yet, having passed a sentence on one man, he 
could not now pass a lighter sentence on an accomplice who 
was no less guilty. 

On the 24th of November, 1867, a party of forty or 
fifty shearers and others had assembled at Mr. William 
Whittaker's store on the Willandra Billabong, about a mile 
and a half from Mossgiel station, for the purpose of holding 
a race meeting, when they were bailed up by John Williams, 
William Brookman, Edward Kelly, and John Payne, and 
robbed of a considerable amount. Afterwards Michael 
McNamara, a constable stationed at Booligal, about sixty 
miles from Mossgiel, but who was at Mossgiel on duty at 
the time, was talking to Mr. Dobbins on the verandah of 
the store, when Williams and Brookman came up, and 
asked Dobbins if he was Constable McNamara. Dobbins 
replied "No." Brookman then turned to the constable 
and asked him the same question. The bushrangers each 
had a revolver in his hand, and so the constable also said 
" No," and made a rush at Brookman. In the struggle 
they got inside the store, and Brookman's pistol exploded, 
the bullet shattering McNamara's wrist. Brookman was 
shouting for help, and another shot was fired, wounding 
Constable McNamara in the back of the head. Mr. 
Peerman, overseer of the Mossgiel sheep station, and Mr. 
Edward Crombie rushed up and secured Williams and 
Brookman, who were placed in a hut and watched by 
Messrs. F. G. Desailly, Robertson, and others. The two 


bushrangers had five revolvers all loaded, except two barrels 
which had recently been fired. Williams had ^82 is. rod. 
and Brookman ,34 8s. 8d., making in all ;n6 los. 6d. 
The two bushrangers were charged on January i4th, 1868, at 
Deniliquin, with having wounded with intent to kill Michael 
McNamara, a constable in the execution of his duty. 
Williams, it was said, was a bullock driver, who had recently 
sold his team for the purpose of turning bushranger. 
Brookman was under seventeen years of age, and very 
boyish in appearance. Mr. George Milner Stephen, who 
appeared for the prisoners, pleaded hard for a light 
sentence on Brookman on account of his youth, 
and also because his family were respectable people. 
The Chief Justice said that in a recent case of a bushranger 
who put a pistol to the head of an advancing constable, the 
jury had found that there was no intent to kill, for what 
reason no one could tell. In the present case the arresting 
constable had not been killed, and the jury must decide as 
to the intent. With regard to the youth of one of the 
prisoners, it was an ascertained fact that lads when they 
became bushrangers were more bloodthirsty, brutal, cruel, 
and fiendish than grown men. The prisoners were sentenced 
to death, and the boy when he heard the sentence said 
" Thank you." His sentence was afterwards commuted to 
imprisonment for life. 

Edward Kelly and John Payne pleaded guilty to the 
robberies at Whittaker's, and to two other charges of bush- 
ranging. They had been followed by the police, and Payne 
was captured while Kelly got away, but not without a wound. 
Subsequently Payne led the police to the camp, and thus 
assisted them to capture his wounded mate. For this act of 
humanity, the judge sentenced him to ten years' imprison- 
ment on two charges, the sentences to be concurrent ; 
while Kelly was sentenced to two terms of fifteen years each, 
or thirty years in all. 

Walter Maher, another bushranger, also pleaded guilty to 
a charge of highway robbery, and was sentenced to ten 
years' imprisonment. 

Charley Johnson and Miller, alias Slater, who had been 
arrested and lodged in the lock-up at Denison Town, on 
April 3rd, 1868, made a rush on the watch-house keeper when 


he entered their cell, knocked him down and took his 
revolver. They fired two shots at him and walked away. 
They called at the blacksmith's shop and made the 
blacksmith take off their irons. Then they left the town, to 
resume their bushranging career. On the following 
morning they stuck up and robbed Mr. Ashton of 
about ;io. On the 6th they stuck up the Green 
Swamp Inn, kept by Mr. McNaughton. In the evening 
they walked into Mr. Tuckerman's Hotel, in Mudgee, 
and called for drinks. When these had been served 
they ordered all in the bar to bail up, and began collecting 
the money. When they had obtained all they could they 
walked away, no attempt being made to detain them. They 
went into Langbridge's hotel, and collected the money in 
the same way. Then they returned, mounted their horses, 
and left the town by the Green Swamp Road. They stopped 
for supper at Landell's Hotel, about a mile from the town. 
In the meantime a party under Constable Campbell, 
composed principally of those who had been robbed, started 
in pursuit. They rode rapidly, and as they came up to the 
front of Landell's Hotel the bushrangers left by the back 
door, the horses they had ridden being captured, as they 
were hitched to the verandah. On the following morning 
Mr. Farrar was returning from Gulgong to Mudgee when 
he saw three mounted men, whom he took to be bush- 
rangers. He started to gallop away, when he recognised 
Constable Webb's voice, and pulled up. He informed the 
police that he had stayed at Matthew Horner's Inn on the 
previous night, and had been suddenly wakened by a blow 
on the head from the butt of a revolver. He was ordered 
to keep quiet and to get up. He did so, and was compelled 
to lead the way to the stable, saddle and bridle his horse, 
and give the animal to the bushrangers. He had no idea 
who they were, and had been too much confused by the 
blow on his head to notice their appearance. They after- 
wards roused up Mr. Horner and compelled him to supply 
them with horses, giving Farrar his horse back again. On 
obtaining this information the party in pursuit rode on to 
Horner's Inn to make further enquiries, while at the same 
time the bushrangers must have been riding through the 
bush to Mudgee, and so passed their pursuers. They called 


at Tuckerman's Hotel, and had breakfast. As soon as their 
presence in the town was known, another party was made 
up to capture them. When the bushrangers left the town 
they were again followed, and were overtaken near Bambera 
Hill, where a fight took place, but when the pursuers had 
expended all their ammunition they returned to Mudgee, 
while the bushrangers proceeded to stick up and rob the 
Barragon mail. They were captured subsequently, and sent 
to gaol. 

The murder of the brothers Pohlmann, hawkers, was 
reported in the Wagga Wagga Express of April nth, 1868. 
The hawker's waggon had been found standing a little off the 
road which runs along the bank of the Yanco Creek from 
Narrandera to Jerilderie. A few yards away was a gunyah 
of boughs and bushes, supposed to have been constructed 
by the brothers to shelter their camp fire from the wind. 
Not far away were the ashes of a large fire, and on this being 
carefully examined some metal buttons and remains of 
charred bones furnished incontrovertible evidence that some 
human being had been cremated there. The drawers and 
lockers with which the waggon was provided were open and 
had evidently been ransacked. The clothes and drapery 
were disarranged and scattered about the waggon, while of 
the large stock of jewellery which the brothers were known 
to carry with them nothing could be found. When the 
report was first published a rumour spread around that one 
of the brothers had murdered the other and had made off 
with the more valuable articles. A sister, who resided in 
Sydney, wrote to the Press stating her opinion that this was 
not true. Her brothers were too fond of each other to 
quarrel, and as they had been very successful there was no 
motive for the robbery. She added that there was a secret 
receptacle in the axle bed of the waggon known only to 
herself and her brothers, and it was their custom to carry 
their money and the most valuable articles of jewellery in 
this cache. She felt certain that if the police searched 
they would find this secret hiding place with its 
contents intact. The police did search, and found ^73, some 
gold watches, and other valuables hidden as Miss Pohlmann 
declared they would be. This effectually disproved the 
rumour about one brother having murdered the other, and 


made it evident that both had been murdered. A number of 
suspicious characters were arrested and discharged, and it 
was thought, as time passed away, that this murder would 
have to be included among the many undiscoverable crimes. 
Two years had elapsed, and the murder was almost 
forgotten, when a man named Robert Campbell was 
arrested and charged with the crime. One witness said 
he had been camped on the sand hill near the Yanco Creek, 
on March i3th, 1868. This sand hill was a favourite 
camping ground, because there was plenty of scrub on it, 
and there was no timber for firewood for miles on either 
side. He had just finished his supper when Campbell came 
up and asked him to take some tea to his mate who was 
lying ill about a quarter of a mile away. Witness told him 
he could take the tea himself, but he refused. The reason 
why witness would not take the tea was because Campbell 
bore a bad character. Campbell went away, and witness 
removed his camp some distance away, as he believed that 
Campbell was "up to some mischief." The following 
morning, soon after he resumed his journey, he met the 
Pohlmanns going towards the camping ground. No one 
could be found who had seen the Pohlmanns after this, and 
the evidence as to the time when they left Gillenbah tallied 
with the time when they were seen by this witness. The 
police succeeded in tracing some of the jewellery which 
had belonged to the Pohlmanns, and which Campbell had 
sold. He was convicted of murder, and was hung on 
October 5th, 1870, but as he made no confession the 
manner in which he carried out his crime can never be 

On April 2oth, 1868, Robert Cotterall, alias Blue Cap, 
was tried at Wagga Wagga for having stuck up and robbed 
Carl Seeman at Rock Station, Reedy Creek, in June, 1867 ; 
and William Marshall, Jeremiah Lehane, and several others 
at various places, between July i5th and October 24th. 
The prisoner had made a hard struggle when run down by 
the police, and had been wounded. He was still very ill 
when brought to trial. He was deathly pale, and wore a 
green shade over his eyes. He looked very little like the 
popular ideal of a bold bushranger. He was convicted 
and sent to gaol for ten years. 


Bushranging in the Northern District of New South Wales ; Captain 
Thunderbolt Robs the Toll Bar ; A Chinaman Bushranger ; A 
Long Chase; A Fight with the Police ; "Next, Please"; The Bush- 
ranger Rutherford ; Captain Thunderbolt and the German Band ; 
Desperate Duel between Captain Thunderbolt and Constable 
Walker; Thunderbolt's Death. 

IT must not be supposed that while the Southern and 
Western districts of New South Wales were harried by bush- 
rangers, that the great Northern district escaped from this 
scourge. As a fact, although bushranging began rather later 
than in the Western district, the Northern district was in no 
degree behind the others in interest at this time. In April, 
1864, Peter, James, and Acton Clarke, three brothers, with 
John Conroy and a boy of twelve, named Samuel Carter, were 
riding together towards Culgoa, near Warland's Range. The 
boy had cantered some distance ahead, when he was ordered 
to " bail up " by a mounted man, who suddenly came out 
from behind a clump of trees. The boy took no notice and 
the man fired at him and missed. The boy galloped away 
and the man started to follow him, when he caught sight of 
the other travellers, who had just appeared round a bend in 
the road. The bushranger stopped his horse, turned to meet 
them, and ordered them to dismount. They did so. The 
bushranger also dismounted and came towards them. He 
demanded their money, and they felt in their pockets to get 
it out. Just then Peter Clarke made a rush, threw his arms 
round the bushranger, and tried to throw him. There was 
a short struggle, and a pistol went off. Peter Clarke fell 
dead, and the bushranger broke away from him. The 


other travellers had come forward and endeavoured to 
assist Peter, but had been unable to grasp hold of 
the bushranger, as the wrestlers shifted so rapidly. Now, 
however, they caught him as he was trying to reach his 
horse. In the struggle both James Clarke and Conroy 
were wounded, but the bushranger was overpowered and 
disarmed. They tied his arms and took him along with 
them. About two miles along the road they came upon 
two men tied to trees, who said that they had been stuck 
up and robbed by the prisoner about two hours before. 
The prisoner was handed over to the police, and was 
identified as Harry Wilson, twenty years of age. He was 
taken to Maitland and charged with wilful murder. He 
was convicted, and hung on October 4th. A public meeting 
was held at Murrurundi and a committee was appointed to 
raise a subscription for the purpose of erecting a monument 
to Peter Clarke, who had " sacrificed his life in the cause of 
order and justice." This project was duly carried out. 

Mr. Samuel Turner, travelling from Bingera Goldfield to 
Newcastle in a buggy, put up for the night at Britten's Hotel, 
Willowtree. Next morning (Sunday, October i9th)he started 
early, intending to breakfast at Wallabadah. He had gone 
barely ten miles, however, when he was stuck up by a man 
riding a fine-looking horse. The robber took him off the 
road, tied him to one tree and hitched his horse to another. 
He robbed Mr. Turner of about 12, a gold watch and 
chain, and a bunch of keys, and rode away. Mr. Turner 
struggled desperately and succeeded in getting loose. He 
was leading his horse through the scrub towards the road 
when the robber returned, tied him up more securely than 
before, and cautioned him not to "try that dodge again." 
This time Mr. Turner remained quiet, and about an hour 
later the bushranger returned again, directing Mr. McShane 
where to drive his mail coach. When the coach had been 
placed in a satisfactory position the robber tied McShane 
and a passenger back to back, with a sapling between them, 
and laid them on the ground. The bushranger then sat 
down to go through the letters. McShane said, "You'd better 
leave them alone, you'll get nothing out of them." "Won't I," 
replied the bushranger. "What do you call this? It's a 
hundred and forty quid anyway." He held up a roll of bank 


notes as he spoke. Having finished the letters he told them 
to remain quiet until he " got the other mail," and went away 
again towards the road. It was fully two hours later when 
he again returned, directing Smith, the driver of the other 
mail, where to drive. Smith said his horses were young ones 
and would not stand. "All right," replied the bushranger, 
" stand at their heads, but, mind, no hanky panky." The 
only passenger was Mrs. O'Dell. She was politely requested 
to take a seat on a log and was not interfered with or asked 
for her money. By a strange coincidence her husband had 
been a passenger on the coach a week before and had been 
robbed at the same place, presumably by the same bush- 
ranger. By the present transaction the Bank of New South 
Wales lost ^"274, and it was doubtful whether this included 
the " hundred and forty quid " or not. 

J. Lowe's mail coach, plying between Mudgee and 
Sofala, was stuck up by an armed bushranger about two 
miles from Peel. It was not known whether this highway- 
man came from the Northern or the Western district, the 
place where the robbery took place lying between the two 
and being raided occasionally from either side. 

On December i6th a toll-keeper named Delany was 
" sitting at the receipt of custom " in the toll-house on the 
road between Maitland and Rutherford, when a man 
pushed the door open, presented a pistol at his head, and 
cried out " Give me your money." Delany was of course 
considerably startled by the suddenness of this attack, but 

he replied " I've got none." " No nonsense ! " cried 

the bushranger. " Give it here ! " "I tell you," exclaimed 
Delany, " there's no money here. My mate's just taken it 
to Maitland." The bushranger stepped into the house, 
pushed Delany aside, opened the cupboard, and took out 
the cash box, saying at the same time, " I'm Captain 
Thunderbolt." Delany made no attempt to resist this 
violence, and the bushranger put the box under his arm 
and walked away up the road to where he had hitched his 
horse to the fence. He mounted and rode away, and 
a few minutes afterwards O'Brien, the lessee of the 
toll-bar, returned from the town. Delany told him 
what had occurred, and leaving O'Brien in charge 
walked towards the Spread Eagle Inn at the Ruther- 


ford Racecourse. Near the inn he came upon the 
bushranger, who exclaimed, "Hulloa, come after me?" 
" No," replied Delany, " I'm going to the pub." " Has your 
mate gone for the crushers ? " asked the bushranger. " No," 
was the reply, " he's minding the bar." Captain Thunder- 
bolt kept silence for a moment, as if thinking, then he said, 
" I was told that young Fogarty, the flash fighting man, was 
keeping the bar, and I wanted to take it out of him. I 
didn't want to hurt you. You'll find your cash box behind 
that clump of trees and here's your money." He handed 
Delany about four shillings, mostly in coppers, and Delany 
walked away, picked up the cash box, which was uninjured, 
and went back to the toll-house. The bushranger walked 
into the bar of the inn and asked if he could have some- 
thing to eat. Mrs. Byrne, the landlady, replied " Certainly," 
and went out to cut him some bread and meat He sat 
down and waited, and on her return ate the bread and meat 
as if he was very hungry. When he had finished he asked 
"How much?" "Oh nothing," replied Mrs. Byrne, "we 
never charge for a little thing like that." " Well," said the 

robber, " I came here to stick you up, but as you're so 

hospitable, I won't." He then asked for a bottle of rum, 
paid for it, and went away. About half-a-mile away he met 
Godfrey Parsons, who was taking his sick wife to Maitland, 
to see the doctor. Thunderbolt ordered him to " bail up 
and hand out." Parsons replied, " We've only two pounds, 
and we want that for the doctor." The bushranger asked 
what was the matter with Mrs. Parsons and how long she 
had been ill Parsons told him. " Well," said the robber, 
" I'm a bushranger, but I don't rob sick women ; pass on." 
Mrs. Parsons had 30 in her pocket and was crying at the 
prospect of losing it. 

Further along the road Thunderbolt met a man and four 
women, and stopped to joke with them. He said he 

thought it unfair that one man should have four 

women, while he could not get one. As they were laughing 
a trooper rode up, and the bushranger immediately 
challenged him to fight ; the trooper, however, said 
he had no ammunition with him. " I've been chased 

by you traps near Armidale," exclaimed Thunderbolt, 

" but they pulled up at the Black Rock. They were 


afraid of getting bogged in the Green Swamp if they 
followed me." 

He stopped a number of other people during the 
afternoon, robbing some and letting others go, and in the 
evening went back to the Spread Eagle to tea. He chatted 
for some time with Mrs. Byrne, telling her of his exploits. 
Just after his departure four troopers rode up. Information 
as to the proceedings of the bushranger had reached 
Maitland, and these troopers had been sent out to catch 
him if possible. They made some enquiries, and then 
followed in the direction in which Thunderbolt had gone, 
overtaking him as he was talking quietly to a man on the 
road. The foremost trooper presented his pistol at the 
bushranger's head, and said " You're my prisoner." " Am 
I ? " cried Thunderbolt with a laugh, as he put spurs to his 
horse and galloped away. After a long chase, and the 
expenditure of a large quantity of Government ammunition, 
the bushranger escaped in the dark, the troopers' horses 
being almost too tired to return to Maitland. In its com- 
ments on this escapade of the new bushranger the Maitland 
Mercury enquires : " Is this hitherto quiet district to be 
disturbed as the Western district has been for so long a 
time ? " and events proved that it was. 

Within a few days the Northern mail was stuck up by 
two armed men. One of the robbers was said to be in a 
state of trepidation the whole time. Perhaps this may 
account for the bushrangers missing two registered letters, 
one containing ^60 and the other ^30, and a small bag of 
gold-dust in a package. A gentleman who was accompany- 
ing the mail cart on horseback was allowed to continue his 
journey because he said he was on a visit to a sick friend. 
He was required to promise, "as a gentleman," not to give 
any information to the police, and he kept his word, but on 
his arrival in Tamworth he made a bet that the mail coach 
would not arrive by three p.m. The mail was delayed less 
than half an hour, however, and the driver nearly made up 
the lost time by fast driving. The gentleman therefore lost 
his bet in spite of the special knowledge he had acquired. 
The robbers were followed at once, and on January 6th, 
1865, William Mackie and Robert Johnstone were com- 
mitted for trial for this robbery. Mackie was identified as 


a bushranger who had been previously convicted at Bathurst 
for robbery under arms, but had made his escape while 
being conveyed to Sydney to be sent to Cockatoo Island. 
The prisoners were taken from Bathurst to Penrith by 
coach. From thence they went to Sydney by train. They 
were handcuffed in the guard's van, the door being open, as 
the day was very hot. When running along the embank- 
ment near Fairfield, between Liverpool and Parramatta, 
Mackie, ironed as he was, jumped out The train was 
travelling at a fast rate, and it ran some distance before 
notice could be conveyed to the driver and the train stopped. 
It was expected that the prisoner would be found 
dead at the foot of the embankment, but nothing could 
be seen of him. It was then believed that he had crawled 
somewhere into the scrub to die, but although diligent 
search was made no body could be discovered. He was 
now sent to Cockatoo to undergo his original sentence, and 
Johnstone was sent to keep him company. It was said that 
they intended to join Captain Thunderbolt. 

An attempt was made to stick up the Northern mail 
about twelve miles north of Singleton, on January 7th. A 
shot was fired from behind a culvert on the road, as the 
coach was passing, and a voice called out " Bail up." The 
driver, however, instead of obeying, lashed his horses, took 
his foot off the brake, and the coach plunged down the hill 
at a tremendous rate, and at the imminent risk of a capsize. 
Two robbers came out from behind the culvert and fired. 
The passengers declared that they heard the whizz of the 
bullets, but no one was hurt, and the coach reached the 
level ground safely. 

On the same day the branch mail from Bendemeer was 
stuck up and robbed near Stringy Barks, proving that more 
than one party was raiding on the Great North Road. 
There were no passengers, but a number of half notes were 
taken. The robbers handed the driver several cheques to 
"take care of," one being for ^1000. No violence was 

The Northern mail was robbed again on January 3oth, 
at Black Hill, about two miles from Muswellbrook, by four 
armed men. There were three male and one female 
passengers. The amount stolen was estimated at between 


^700 and ;8oo. These and several minor robberies on 
the road were all credited to Captain Thunderbolt, or to 
men who were trying to join him, and it was said that the 
immunity enjoyed by him encouraged other evil-disposed 
persons to take to the road. 

In one case at least a Chinaman turned bushranger. 
Constable Ward was returning to his station at Coonanbara- 
bran from Mudgee, on February 2ist, when he was informed 
that a Chinaman had recently stuck up and robbed a num- 
ber of persons in the neighbourhood. The constable followed 
him into the bush, found his camp, and called on the 
Asiatic to come out and surrender. Instead of obeying 

the Chinaman exclaimed, "You policeeman, me shootee 

you ! " and did so. The constable, though wounded, 
returned to the nearest farm, from whence news of the 
occurrence was sent to the police-station. A party was 
organised and the Chinaman was soon hunted down. He 
was convicted of attempting to murder a constable while in 
the execution of his duty, and was hung. Constable Ward 
recovered from his wound. 

On April 6th, Mr. Hughes, of Bourke & Hughes, 
squatters, informed the police at Dubbo, that the hotel at 
the Fisheries had been stuck up and robbed, and volun- 
teered to assist in the capture of the bushrangers. They 
tracked the robbers to Canonbar, about a hundred and 
twenty miles, when Mr. Hughes's horse knocked up. There 
they were informed that the bushrangers had passed three 
days before, and had stolen fresh horses from Mr. Baird's 
station, Bellerengar, leaving their knocked-up ones in 
exchange. The black trackers were thrown off the trail 
by this manoeuvre, as they followed the tracks of the 
abandoned horses for several miles before they discovered 
their error. They soon, however, picked up the new tracks, 
although the bushrangers had kept off the road as much as 
possible, as if aware that they were being followed. They 
rode through the scrub and across arid or rocky patches 
wherever they could find them, but the black boys followed 
them with unerring skill and with but little delay. The bush 
rangers stuck up and robbed several people on the road and 
took fresh horses, provisions, and other necessaries from the 
stations as they went along. At Martell's Inn the police 


were informed that the bushrangers were only twelve hours 
ahead. We will now leave the pursuers and see what the 
pursued were doing. They stuck up Mr. Strahan's station 
and then went on to Gordon's Inn, where they called for 
drinks like ordinary travellers, shouting for all those in the 
bar. Then the leader, Daniel Sullivan, produced his pistol, 
while his two mates went to the door to prevent any of the 
men inside from running away. They collected about ^4 
from the landlord and those in the bar, then they put their 
pistols in their pockets and began " shouting " again. When 
the ^4 was expended, they again produced their pistols, 
compelled the landlord to hand over the cash, and proceeded 
to spend it as before. The money had been expended some 
three or four times, when Sullivan left his mates, Clarke and 
Donnelly, to "keep the game alive," mounted his horse 
and rode into the bush. Mr. Gordon was compelled to 
remain in the bar to serve out the liquors called for, but 
Mrs. Gordon went on to the verandah to ascertain whether 
she could find any one to send to Molong to give the alarm. 
Presently she saw three dusty, weather-stained travellers 
walking towards the inn, and thought that they were more 
bushrangers. Fortunately she did not go into the bar to 
tell her husband, and when Sergeant Cleary, with Constables 
Brown and Johnston, came up they speedily told her who 
they were, and were informed in their turn that the men they 
had ridden so far to arrest were inside. The police entered 
the bar, and covering the two bushrangers with their revolvers 
called on them to surrender. Instead of obeying, Clarke 
put his hand to his belt and was immediately shot. Donnelly 
made a rush towards the corner of the bar, where their guns 
were standing against the wall, and he also was shot just 
before he reached them. A moment later Sullivan rode up to 
the front of the hotel, unconscious of the change which had 
taken place during his absence, and when he found himself 
covered by the police weapons he was so dumbfounded that he 
permitted himself to be pulled from his horse and handcuffed 
without resistance. The police had left their horses some 
distance away in charge of the black tracker. Now they 
went for their horses and fed them as well as themselves. 
Later on a cart was procured, and the body of Donnelly was 
disposed in the bottom. Beside it, wrapped in a blanket, 


was the wounded man, Clarke, while Sullivan, being 
uninjured, was mounted on horseback, and the whole party 
proceeded to Molong, where an inquest was held on 
Donnelly's body. Sullivan, and Clarke, who recovered from 
his wound, were subsequently tried and convicted. 

On April 29th, the Tamworth Examiner said : "A week 
ago we reported that Frederick Ward, alias Captain 
Thunderbolt, had stuck up the Warialda mail. He after- 
wards went to Mr. Lloyd's Manilla station and took two 
first-class horses. Then he stuck up Cheeseborough's and 
Lethbridge's stations. From the 2oth to the 24th nothing 
was heard of him, but on the last-mentioned date he and 
another stuck up Munro's Inn, at Boggy Creek. Mr. Munro 
challenged them to fight singly, either with fists or pistols, 
but they laughed at him and shot a valuable dog. They drank 
a large quantity of spirits, and collected between ^70 and 
80. They went on to Walford's Inn at Millie, sticking up 
Mr. Baldwin on the road. Mr. Walford, having been 
informed of their approach, had hidden away everything of 
value, so that they got very little, except more grog. The 
police also had been informed, and three troopers, with a 
black tracker, soon arrived on the scene. As they 
approached, the bushranger on guard outside whistled, and 
the other man came out and mounted, Thunderbolt waving 
a revolver and pointing to a field behind the house as a 
challenge. He led his men to the clearing and made a 
stand. The police followed, and a number of shots were 
fired on both sides. The police closed up, and Constable 
Ualton shot one of the bushrangers, a mere lad, and he fell. 
Dalton shouted to Constable Morris to ' look after him,' and 
turned towards Thunderbolt, when the boy raised himself on 
his elbow and fired. Constable Lynch shot the boy in the 
neck, probably in time to save Dalton's life. Ward made a 
dash forward, perhaps with a view to driving the police 
away from the boy and carrying him off, but the police fire 
was too brisk, and after a few more rounds the robber 
turned and rode into the bush. The police followed, but as 
their horses had travelled fifty miles that morning, they were 
obliged to give up the chase. The robber who was killed, 
was identified as John Thompson, aged sixteen." 

The Namoi mail was robbed by one white man and two 


blacks, near Tamworth, and on September lyth the mail 
from Walgett to Singleton was stuck up at Brigalow Creek. 
The passengers and driver were conducted some distance 
off the road, to where a fire had been kindled, and were told 
to "make some tea and enjoy yourselves while we look 
after the bags." James Boyd, alias McGrath, and Charles 
Stanmore were arrested after a smart chase, and were 
convicted of having robbed the Walgett mail. A number 
of similiar robberies occurred from time to time in various 
parts of this extensive district, and the police were kept 
constantly busy. 

In December, 1865, Ward, riding Mr. Duff's racer 
Eucalyptus, stuck up Cook's Inn at Quirindi on the i8th ; 
J. M. Davis's Inn at Currabubula on the 2oth, and Griffin's 
Inn at Carroll on the 23rd. At this last-named place he 
pulled up, and said to his mate in a loud voice, " Let's have 
a glass of brandy. We want it this wet evening." They 
dismounted, and stepped on to the verandah. As he 
entered the door Thunderbolt raised the corner of his 
mackintosh to display his pistols, and said, " I'll trouble 
you, ladies and gentlemen, to bail up." The women began 
to scream, and Ward said, " Don't be afraid. We shan't 
hurt any one. We only want a little money." A traveller 
who had entered some time before drew away from the 
bar, and joined the bushrangers. The other men present 
were ranged in single row along the wall, and when all were 
in position each man was called up in turn to be searched. 
The proceedings were very suggestive of the " next, please," 
in a barber's shop. While this was going on several people 
entered, and were compelled to take their places at the end 
of the queue. The bushrangers held the bar from five to 
nine p.m., pausing in their work every now and then to 
order drinks for all hands. Shortly after nine o'clock two 
men rode up to the verandah, and shouted " Landlord." 
The robbers looked out, and recognising the horsemen, 
retreated into the back room. Mr. Griffin went to the door, 
and said in a low tone to Constable Lang, " We're all 
stuck up here." " Which are the bushrangers ?" asked the 
constable, and on being told that they were in the back 
room he rode to the door and fired. The shot was 
returned, and the shooting continued until the constable 


was wounded in the arm and his horse in the neck. 
The bushrangers went out through the back door, and 
escaped in the darkness into the bush, but they left their 
horses behind. 

Early in 1866 Ward and his gang made a raid across the 
Queensland border, robbing stations, hotels, and travellers in 
the Curriwillinghi district, but he soon returned to his own 
district, and in March the Tamworth and Wee Waa mail 
was stuck up near Bullingall by two armed men supposed 
to be Ward and another. The driver of the Northern mail 
was also ordered to bail up near Murrurundi, and as he did 
not obey with due alacrity he was speedily brought to a 
standstill by one of his horses being shot dead. After 
going through the letters the bushrangers rode into the 
town and took a quantity of clothes, some money, and some 
jewellery and other valuables from Barton's and Johnstone's 
stores and Humphries' Hotel. 

The Northern mail was robbed by three armed men at 
the Red Post Hill, near Falbrook. It was just before dawn 
when the driver was ordered to bail up. The robbers were 
on foot and had a number of pieces of rope ready to tie up 
the passengers. Mr. Moore, of Abingdon, attempted to 
run away, but was followed and knocked down with the 
butt of a pistol. The six passengers and the driver were 
tightly bound either to the fence or to trees, and their money 
and watches taken away from them. The robbers then 
mounted the coach and drove away along the road. As 
soon as it was out of sight the bound men began to 
struggle for liberty. Mr. Moore was the first to succeed 
in breaking loose and he untied Mr. Dines and the 
others. They followed the coach along the road towards 
Singleton, but had not gone very far when they were 
overtaken by Mr. Wyndham on horseback. They 
informed him of their circumstances and he rode rapidly 
away to give notice to the police in Singleton. He 
found the coach standing on the road within a mile of 
the town but did not stay to examine it. The police started 
out immediately and arrived at the coach almost as soon as 
the driver and passengers. Only one of the bags had been 
cut open, and no damage was done to anything else on the 
coach. The police spent the whole day in searching, but 


failed to find any tracks or to ascertain in which direction 
the robbers had gone. 

James Booth, William Willis, alias Dunkley, and Thomas 
Hampton were arrested in a public house at the corner of 
Goulburn and Pitt Streets, Sydney, by Detectives Camphin 
and Finigan on April lyth, 1866, and charged with having 
robbed the Singleton mail on the previous day. The coach 
had arrived at the Red Post Hill, between Muswellbrook 
and Singleton, when the men sprang out from behind the 
trees bordering the road and sang out, " Bail up, stand and 
deliver, throw up your arms." Mr. Moore, one of the 
passengers, jumped out of the back of the coach, and 
Hampton chased him and brought him back. Mr. Button, 
a Government railway guard, also tried to get down, but 

Willis told him that he would blow his " brains out" if 

he didn't sit still. The passengers were all tied up and 
robbed. One of them, George Beved, said that Willis was 

the man who threatened to " Blow the roof of his skull 

off" when Moore was wrestling with Hampton. The 
prisoners were also charged with having bailed up and 
robbed the mail near Campbelltown, on April loth. The 
proceedings were of the usual character. The prisoners 
were convicted on both charges and were sentenced, Willis 
to ten years' and Booth and Hampton each to eight years' 

The April Sessions at Bathurst were unusually heavy. 
John Weekes was sentenced to death for the murder of Mr. 
Scheffts at Grenfell, and John Connors for attempted 
murder in another bushranging exploit. Besides these, 
Patrick Foran and James Kelly were sent to gaol for ten 
years for sticking up the Half- Way House on the Carcoar 
Road, and other acts of bushranging ; James Kennedy, alias 
Southgate, to fifteen years for sticking up John Edwards, 
William Woodley, and Henry Rodwell, at Murdering 
Swamp on January ist Kennedy also pleaded guilty to 
robbing John Fawcett and John Eaton; Charles Rutherford, 
who had been engaged in several robberies in company 
with William Mackie, who, as already related, had jumped 
out of the train while being conveyed to Sydney, and 
was afterwards captured in the Northern district, was 
sentenced to seven years' penal servitude ; Smith and Moran 


sentenced to seventeen years each, and Kerr to ten years. 
These, with some prisoners, sentenced for minor offences, 
were being conveyed to Sydney to gaol on April 25th, 1867. 
There were fifteen prisoners in all, guarded by eight troopers. 
Sergeant Casey, in charge, was seated on the box seat of 
the Cobb's coach. The prisoners were inside chained 
together in two gangs of seven and eight respectively. 
Constables Madden and Kennedy were seated, unarmed, 
with the prisoners, while the other five troopers rode beside 
the coach fully armed. At Pulpit Hill the prisoners, 
notwithstanding the heavy force opposed to them, made a 
desperate attempt to escape, and in the melee Constable 
Holmes was killed, while Rutherford and another prisoner 
got away in the bush. Rutherford immediately returned to 
his old haunts and recommenced his depredations. In 
December, 1867, he was captured by Sergeant Cleary, of 
Bourke, and was conveyed to the lock-up, but he again 
contrived to escape. In January, 1868, he stuck up the 
Boggy Creek and Galathera Inns, and robbed numbers of 
people on the road. He then went to Mr. Beauvais' inn at 
Cannonbar and called on the landlord to bail up. Mr. 
Beauvais, however, had a pistol in the till and knew how to 
use it. On pretence of taking out the money, to hand over 
as commanded, he got out his revolver and shot the bush- 
ranger. He was awarded a silver medal by the Government 
for this act. 

The districts raided by Rutherford and Thunderbolt 
overlapped, so that it is difficult to decide which of these 
two bushrangers were responsible for many of the outrages. 
Ward, however, was not idle. In company with a boy named 
Mason, he stuck up and robbed the Northern, the Walcha, 
and several other mails in the district. He was frequently 
chased by the police, but being a magnificent rider, with an 
intimate knowledge of every gully, ravine, or hill in the 
extensive district over which he ranged, he always 
contrived to escape. Sometimes he was very hard pressed, 
as, for instance, when he was compelled to abandon Talley- 
rand, a racehorse for the recovery of which Mr. Wyndham 
had offered a reward of ;ioo, in April, 1869. His 
companions were captured one after the other. They were 
generally boys of from sixteen to twenty, but Thunderbolt 


continued his career unchecked. No doubt he owed many 
of his hairbreadth escapes to the superiority of his horses. 
He would travel two hundred miles to steal a noted race- 
horse. Thus he stole Mr. Samuel Clift's horse, John Brown, 
from Breeza. The horse had run on the Maitland and 
Sydney courses. 

One of the stories told about Ward was that he stuck up 
a German band at Goonoo Goonoo Gap, and made the 
Teutons play for him, besides giving him their money. The 
Germans pleaded hard. They said they were only poor 
men, and that their wives and children would suffer if they 
were robbed. Thunderbolt told them that he must have 
money. He was waiting for the principal winner at the 
Tamworth Races, he added, and he promised that if he 
caught him he would return the Germans their money. He 
took down their names and addresses. Notwithstanding 
this the Germans departed very sorrowful. They never 
expected to see their money again. Nevertheless, on their 
arrival at their home in Warwick, Queensland, they found a 
Post Office Order for 20 awaiting them. It was surmised, 
therefore, that Thunderbolt had captured the winner. 

On May 25, 1870, Ward met Mr. Blanche, innkeeper, 
near Uralla, returning home with his wife from a drive, and 
called on him to bail up. Blanche laughed, but took no 
further notice of the order. Ward exclaimed, "No hum- 
bugging. You wouldn't let me have a bottle of rum the 
other night, though I offered ^5 for it." Blanche replied 
that he never served any one after hours. He then took 
four shillings and sixpence from his pocket and said, " This 
is all the money I've got. You can have that." The robber 
said, " The missus has more than that." " No," cried Mrs. 
Blanche, "I've no money. We only came for a drive." 
Ward seemed to consider for a moment, and then told 
Mr. Blanche to drive on. Several men came up the by-road 
from Carlisle Gully, and Ward stopped and robbed them. 
An old man named Williamson, and an Italian dealer 
named Giovanni Cappisote, were also stopped, but after 
handing over a gold watch and chain, a small nugget of 
gold, and ^3 133. 6d. in money, the dealer was allowed to 
depart. The other men were taken to Blanche's Inn, where 
Williamson was ordered to shout. He did so, and then 


Ward shouted. They danced, and sang, and enjoyed them- 
selves. Becoming quieter, Ward asked Blanche whether he 
remembered a fight between a bushranger and the police at 
the Rocks, about three hundred yards away, seven years 
before. Blanche said he remembered it well. "Well," 
cried Ward, " I'm the man ; I was shot in the leg." Ward 
went on to relate more of his exploits, the narrative being 
interspersed with songs and dances. 

In the meantime, Cappisote drove on to a selector's 
farm about a mile and a half along the road. Here he 
told Mrs. Dorrington what had happened. He borrowed a 
saddle and bridle, took his horse from the cart, and rode 
to Uralla; making a wide detour round Blanche's house. 
He told the police where the bushranger was, and Con- 
stables Mulhall and Walker armed and mounted at once. 
Mulhall had the faster horse and he reached Blanche's first. 
As he rode up he saw Ward and a young man, both 
mounted on gray horses, riding along the road. He 
followed them, and as he approached Ward turned round 
in his saddle and fired. Mulhall returned the fire but his 
horse bolted. The trooper soon pulled him up. He 
wheeled and, seeing one of the men on the grays gallop 
away, followed shouting to Walker to "look after the 
other fellow." 

The " other fellow " was Thunderbolt, and he turned off 
the road and rode down the steep hill towards the Rocky 
River, followed by Constable Walker. Both men fired a 
shot occasionally when an opportunity offered but neither 
spoke. On reaching the bank of the river, Ward plunged 
in, intending to cross and escape up the opposite range, but 
Walker shot his horse. Ward fell into the river, which was 
shallow there, and he rose immediately. Walker galloped 
along the bank past a deep hole and crossed. Then he 
returned to where Ward was standing in the water and 

called on him to surrender. "Who the are you?" 

enquired Ward roughly. " Never mind who I am," replied 
Walker, " put your hands up." " Are you a trooper ?" asked 
Ward. "Yes," replied Walker. "Married?" continued Ward. 
" Yes," said Walker. " Well, remember your family," said 
Ward. " Oh, that's all right," returned the trooper. " Will 
you come out and surrender?" "No," cried Ward, "I'll 


die first." "Then it's you and me for it," said Walker. 
The trooper urged his horse into the river. The animal 
objected at first and then entered with a rush into deep 
water. Walker raised his revolver above his head to keep 
it dry. Ward fired several shots, none of which took effect. 
When the horse steadied Walker fired again and Ward fell. 
He rose again immediately and tried to scramble up the 
bank. Walker struck him with the butt of his revolver and 
the bushranger fell back into the deep hole and sank. 
The trooper slipped from his horse, and reaching down 
grabbed Ward's shirt and pulled him up. He dragged the 
bushranger out of the hole, up the steep bank, and laid him 
out on the grass, believing him to be dead. Then he 
remounted and rode to Blanche's Hotel for assistance to 
bring the body in. Several of the men about there volun- 
teered to help, but on their reaching the river they found 
that the bushranger had disappeared. A search was 
made, but it was too dark to look for tracks. The next 
morning at daybreak the police and several civilians 
went to the spot and found a trail of blood. They 
followed it, and found Ward hidden under some bushes. 
He was placed in a cart and taken to Uralla, but he died 
before night. The young man chased by Constable 
Mulhall said he had gone after Ward to try and get back a 
horse which the bushranger had stolen from him, and as 
nothing detrimental to his character was known he was 
discharged at the police court. 

Constable Walker was highly complimented for the 
pluck and determination he had shown in this desperate 
encounter with the noted bushranger in a deep water 
hole in a mountain stream with no one looking on. 
Of the many brave actions recorded of the police 
this was perhaps the bravest and the most tragical. 
The constable was promoted and paid his well-earned 

In referring to this duel the Melbourne Argus spoke of 
Ward as the last of the " professional bushrangers " of New 
South Wales, and said : " With a much more compact 
territory than New South Wales, and with a population 
which can entertain no ancestral or traditional sympathies 
with burglars or highwaymen, we are nevertheless amenable 


to the same reproaches as those with which the neigh- 
bouring colony was assailed a few years ago." 

I have already dealt with this mild pharisaical glori- 
fication of Victoria as compared with New South Wales, 
and have no intention of enlarging upon it here. I refer to 
it merely to remind the reader that bushrangers were at 
work elsewhere than in New South Wales at this time. 


Bushranging in the Wild Paroo ; A Raid into South Australia ; A Relic 
of the Bushranging Era ; Agitation for the Release of Gardiner ; 
Official Reports as to Twenty-four Bushrangers Still in Gaol ; The 
Cases of Gardiner and William Brookman ; Gardiner and the Other 
Bushrangers Released ; Gardiner Leaves the Country. 

BUSHRANGING in New South Wales practically ceased with 
the death of Frederick Ward, alias Captain Thunderbolt. 
Previously to his tragical death in the New England River, 
the few stragglers from the big gangs had been captured, and 
any new men who attempted to revive the " reign of terror " 
were speedily dealt with by the police. There were some 
few robberies besides those already related which may be 
mentioned here. They were distributed over a wide range 
of country, one party even crossing the border into South 
Australia, where the bushranger had hitherto been known 
only by hearsay. But these later bushrangers did not inspire 
the terror which those who had passed away had done. 
They were very small fry as compared with Gardiner, Gilbert, 
Hall, Dunn, Morgan, Thunderbolt, and their companions. 
Three bushrangers stuck up Mr. Wearne's station at Crook- 
well on January 6th, 1869, and stole ^80 worth of property. 
The Carcoar mail was bailed up on the mountains, near the 
Bathurst Road, by two bushrangers, when 15 were taken 
from the passengers and the bags were searched. A desperate 
attempt was made to stick up the Joint Stock Bank at 
Braidwood, but the robbers were beaten off. The Southern 
mail was robbed on May loth between Goulburn and 
Marulan. An attempt was made to stick up the Yass mail 
on the 24th. Mr. Longfield, a passenger, wag wounded, but 


the robber was forced to retire without having effected his 

In December, a number of people were bailed up and 
robbed in the Paroo and Warrego districts. The "Wild 
Paroo " had not been very long reclaimed from its original 
desert state, but this did not prevent an enterprising bush- 
ranger from finding his way there, though he did not 
continue his career for any very lengthened period. He 
stuck up Messrs. Lyons & Martin's station, and made the 
men sit on the top rail of the stock-yard fence while he 
rolled up a parcel of goods which he selected from the store. 
Messrs. Browne, Zouch, and Bradley drove up in a buggy 
while he was thus engaged, and were ordered to dismount and 
take their places on the fence with the station hands. The 
robber escorted them, pistol in hand, from where the buggy 
stood to the stock-yard. While walking across this intervening 
space, the bushranger inadvertently, or carelessly perhaps, 
stepped rather too near to Mr. Browne, who stood six feet 
five inches in his socks, and was proportionately strong. 
With a whoop Mr. Browne pounced on to him and held 
him as in a vice. This turned the tables completely. The 
men on the fence got off, and the bushranger was in his 
turn securely tied to the fence and kept there until the 
police could be brought from the nearest town, Bourke, 
about a hundred and fifty miles away, to conduct him to 
prison. After this, bushranging does not appear to have 
been popular in this district. 

On the Qth May, 1869, Mr. Henry Kidder Gillham, 
manager of the Australian Joint Stock Bank at Braidwood, 
returned home at eight p.m., and entered by the side gate, 
when a man sprang out from the shadow and called on him 
to stand. The bushranger presented a revolver, which Mr. 
Gillham pushed aside, when another man struck him with a 
life preserver and knocked him down. Two shots were fired 
from revolvers. Michael Collins, a gardener living on the 
bank premises, was in the kitchen when the two bushrangers 
entered. One of them called out : " Not a word, or it will 
be the worse for you." The tall man had a " Northumber- 
land voice that is, he could not pronounce the r." They 
tied Collins, and went out of the kitchen. In the 
meantime the firing had been heard, and Mr. Finnigan, 


a teacher, with Sergeant Duffy and Constable Luke 
Dacy, ran to the bank. When they got there two 
men ran out of the garden, and after a chase, during 
which several shots were fired, Joseph Home was captured. 
He had no boots on. The other man, John Bollard, escaped 
at the time, but was tracked and captured subsequently. 
The Chief Justice, Sir Alfred Stephen, said that Home had 
been sentenced to seven years' hard labour at Maitland. He 
was afterwards convicted in Melbourne and had escaped 
from Pentridge stockade, having been shot in the shoulder. 
Home said that punishment had made him what he was, 
and pleaded hard for Bollard, who was young and had been 
enticed from the right path by him. Home was sentenced 
to fifteen years' imprisonment and Bollard to ten years. 

John Baker and William Bertram divided their attentions 
between New South Wales and South Australia. In May, 
1869, warrants were issued for their arrest for horse stealing 
from the Mount Murchison station. They took to the road 
and stuck up a number of people. In October they bailed 
up a hawker named Charles Young, who resisted and was 
shot dead. This occurred at the Barrier Ranges, not a 
great way from where the Broken Hill silver-lead lode was 
afterwards discovered. Bertram was followed and captured, 
and was subsequently tried, convicted, and hung at Bathurst. 
Baker escaped for the time and made his way to Koringa. 
Said the South Australian Register, " He showed a remark- 
able want of caution in returning to a district where he 
had passed his hobble-de-hoy years and was consequently 
well known." He had been employed as a horse-breaker at 
the Cross Roads Grounds, Burra Burra, about seven 
years previously and had afterwards worked for Messrs. 
Macdonald & Hockin, mail coach proprietors, on the 
Great Northern Road. On his arrival at Koringa he went into 
a barber's shop and asked to have his hair cut and dyed. The 
hairdresser refused to dye it. Baker swore at him, but could 
not change his determination. The bushranger also grumbled 
at the time spent in cutting his hair, and continually urged 
the barber to "hurry up." When the job was completed 
Baker walked to Redruth, and sat down in the main street 
opposite the Court House, where the police sessions were 
being held at the time. There were a number of people 


about, but Baker sat and cut his tobacco with all the 
nonchalance of innocence. He filled and lighted his pipe, 
and was smoking comfortably, when Corporal Smith and 
Constable Walker came up and said " You're our prisoner." 
" What for ? " asked Baker. " Bushranging," was the short 
reply. Baker sprang up from his seat, and raced away at a 
great rate along the road. He was speedily followed by the 
police on horseback and brought back. He struggled 
furiously, slipping his hands from the handcuffs with the 
greatest ease. The police, however, carried him into the 
lock-up, and put him into a cell. When questioned, he 
said he had brought a mob of horses down country for sale, 
and carried a revolver for his own protection. In the same 
cell was a man named Dobson arrested for horse stealing, 
who had been quiet until Baker came. But the door was 
barely closed and locked when the gaoler heard a suspicious 
noise in the cell. On opening the door he found that 
Baker and Dobson were trying to make a hole in the roof 
with a heavy board seat which they had wrenched from its 
mortice, and were now using as a battering-ram. Baker 
was placed in another cell and ironed. He was a small 
wiry man, very active, and a daring rider. In company 
with Bertram he had stuck up the Mount Murchison 
station ; stuck up Mr. Cobham's station two hundred 
miles from Wilcannia, and taken money, a revolver, 
and several horses ; stolen the horse he was riding 
from Mr. O'Leary, of Poolamacca ; robbed and 
murdered a hawker at the Barrier ranges, and stuck up 
and robbed a number of people on the roads about 
Tiers, Gummeracha, and other places near the Murray 
River, on both sides of the New South Wales-South 
Australian border. When Bertram was captured, Baker 
endeavoured to induce a young man whom he met to join 
him, telling him that they could easily raise 200 to ^300, 
but the young fellow replied that he " didn't want to be hung 
yet." Baker was extradited to New South Wales, and was 
tried and hung at Bathurst early in 1871. 

On May aoth, 1870, The Queanbeyan Age reported the 
finding of a mail bag near the Big Hill. The bag was still 
locked and the seal intact, but the bottom had been ripped 
open. It had evidently, from its appearance, been lying in 


the bush for a long time, probably several years. It was 
referred to as " a relic of the bygone bushranging era in the 

The Muswellbrook and Cassilis coach was stuck up at 
Wappinguey, on November ist, 1870, by two armed men. 
When ordered to bail up, E. Cummins, the driver, enquired 
"What for?" "You'll soon see. Drive into that bit of 
scrub," was the reply. Cummins did as he was ordered, and 
when the coach was out of sight of the road he was made to 
get down and hold his horses while the robbers went through 
the letter bags. When they had finished, they told him to 
gather up the letters and go. 

On the 3rd, Mr. Bellamy was lying under his cart asleep, 
about three miles from Forbes, on the Currajong Road, when 
he was awakened by some one calling " Come out o' that." 
He asked what was the matter, and was told to come 
out unless he wanted his " brains blown out." He 
crawled from under the tarpaulin which covered his cart, 
and handed the bushrangers three i notes. "Where's 
the rest ? We know what you got for your load at Forbes," 
said one of the bushrangers. " I paid it away to a man I 
owed it to," replied Bellamy. " That won't do. You never 
stopped anywhere ; we were watching you. Where is it ? " 
As Bellamy still persisted in saying that he had paid away 
the money, he was compelled to stand with his face to the 
wheel and was tied there. A handkerchief was also tied 
round his head, with the knot thrust into his mouth, as a 
gag. They shook out Bellamy's blankets, searched the 
feed-bag of his horses, and hunted everywhere, until at 
length they discovered thirteen i notes tucked under the 
tilt of the cart. Having secured their booty they cautioned 
Bellamy not to move for an hour under pain of being shot, 
and went away. Two of them jumped over the track in 
what was called the road, to avoid leaving footmarks in the 
dust, but the third appeared to be stiff and walked across 
into the bush. After they had been out of sight for a time, 
Bellamy began to struggle. He capsized the spring cart 
before he succeeded in breaking the rope, but as soon as he 
got loose he walked back to Forbes and informed the police 
of the robbery. The robbers were followed and found in 
a public-house drinking, a day or two after the robbery. 


One day, about this time, a man walked into the branch 
bank at Cassilis, pointed a pistol at the head of the cashier, 
and ordered him to " bail up, or I'll blow your brains out." 
" Will you, by G ? " cried the cashier, as he placed his 
hands on the counter and vaulted over. The would-be 
robber was so startled by this unexpected action on the 
part of the cashier that he dropped his weapon and ran. 
The cashier immediately gave chase along Main Street, 
and soon captured and brought back the pseudo bush- 
ranger. The news spread rapidly, and in a few minutes the 
whole population of the little township was in the Main 
Street. It was soon learned that the only policeman 
stationed in the town had gone to Mudgee " on a case," the 
would-be robber was therefore treated to a good cuffing and 
some threats, and turned adrift. The revolver was found to 
be old, rusty, and useless, but for some time it hung in the 
bank chamber as a caution to bushrangers. It may be 
there yet for all I know. This attempted bank robbery 
appears to have been conducive to thirst, as the bars of the 
two " hotels " were crowded for the rest of the day by a 
laughing and jeering mob of citizens. 

This little comedy furnishes a very appropriate finish to 
the story of the many tragedies which were enacted during 
this the most serious outbreak of bushranging which has 
occurred in New South Wales. During the following two 
or three years the people were gradually becoming 
convinced that the crime of bushranging had been 
thoroughly stamped out, and a sort of reaction set in. 
Letters appeared in the newspapers, in which the writers 
urged that some clemency might safely be shown to some of 
the young men who were still in gaol. In spite of the 
brutal indifference which many of the bushrangers had 
shown for human life, it was almost impossible to help 
admiring the reckless courage exhibited by them. One 
thought was frequently expressed in various ways. It was 
that these bushrangers would have made magnificent 
soldiers if they had been properly trained and made 
amenable to discipline. There was in fact a disposition 
to regard them much as the philosopher regards diit, 
as " matter in the wrong place." Although no record 
of the movement can be found in the newspapers 


and other publications of the period, there can be no doubt 
that the growth of the spirit of humanitarianism, now so 
prominent a characteristic of the Anglo-Saxon in all parts of 
the world, had an immense influence. The convict system, 
which was regarded as the basis of bushranging, had long 
since passed away. The convicts themselves had almost 
died out, and had ceased to be a prominent class in the 
community. Here and there one of the old fellows lingered 
and told stories of the barbarous times which had once 
existed in the colonies. But they were generally incapaci- 
tated by age from doing much harm. There had been a 
time when horror and detestation of the convicts was very 
general, but even these feelings had gone now, and there 
was a prevalent opinion that the convicts had been made 
worse by the brutal discipline to which they had been 
subjected. The very papers which were most strenuous in 
their exhortations to the Government of the day to stamp 
out bushranging at any cost, and which urged the police and 
all orderly citizens to slay and kill any person who interfered 
with the mails or who molested travellers on the high roads, 
now admitted that the bushrangers had been harshly dealt 
with. Those who had been convicted of murder, or of 
attempts to murder, had been hung or shot, while the lesser 
criminals had been sentenced to penal servitude for life or 
for very long periods. The juries all over the country had 
shown no leanings towards mercy or clemency, and the 
judges had treated the bushrangers with great severity. 
The people generally, it was asserted, had given ample 
proof that they would not tolerate a reign of terror 
such as the bushrangers had striven so hard to establish, 
and if there should ever be another outbreak, which 
was not considered probable, it would be crushed out 
long before it could possibly assume such vast propor- 
tions as it had gained during the past era. If there were 
evil-disposed persons in the colony they would be aware 
that public opinion was opposed to them and would hesitate 
before they decided to adopt bushranging as a profession. 
It is worthy of note that although the brutalities exercised 
under the old convict system were said to have tended 
towards the demoralisation of the community, and were 
largely responsible for the prevalence of bushranging and 


other crimes, the practice of flogging for serious offences is 
still the law in many of the colonies. The general public, 
however, is seldom logical, and therefore even the Australians 
still strive to abolish brutal crimes by punishments no less 
brutal, although the history of the colonies affords such 
ample evidence of the futility of these means. But the spirit 
of mercy was abroad. Public meetings were held in all 
centres of population, petitions were sent to the Governor 
and the Legislature, and the Press was full of letters praying 
that mercy might be shown to the evil-doers. The prisoner 
most frequently mentioned was Frank Gardiner. It is true 
that he had organised the first gang, and had given a vent to 
the evil passions of a class. But for him this terrible bush- 
ranging era might never have been inaugurated. But he 
had never committed murder, and had retired from the 
country and endeavoured to lead a lawful life after only a 
few months on the road. It had been said that he was 
engaged in sly grog selling, even when he was ostensibly 
keeping a store on the road to the diggings in Queensland, 
but if so it was for the Queensland authorities, not those 
of New South Wales, to punish him for this offence against 
the licensing laws. The Queensland authorities had, 
however, never made any charge against him, and the 
report might not be true. At length the Chief Justice 
(the late Sir Alfred Stephen) wrote to the Sydney news- 
papers. His letter appeared on June 23rd, 1874. Sir 
Alfred said that the end and aim of all punishment are, first, 
the preventing of individuals, and secondly, the deterring 
of other individuals, from the committing of similar crimes. 
. . . Sentences aggregating thirty-two years had been 
passed in a time of great excitement, and the punishment 
seemed to have been measured more in view of the crimes 
he was supposed to have committed than with reference solely 
to those which were proved against him. . . . He 
could not say whether the reported reformation was sincere, 
but he thought that the prisoner had been sufficiently 
punished and, therefore, recommended a conditional pardon. 
Emanating from such a source, this opinion carried great 
weight, and almost coincident with its publication, the 
Governor, Sir Hercules Robinson, afterwards Lord Ros- 
mead, laid before the Executive Council six petitions signed 


by a number of well known and responsible persons in various 
parts of the colony praying for the release of the convict 
Gardiner. He said it was true that no hope of an absolute 
remission of his sentence had ever been held out to him, 
but in the Governor's minute of December 5th, 1872, it had 
been implied that if the prisoner continued to conduct him- 
self well he might hope for remission at the end of ten years. 

Official returns were laid on the table showing the 
number of prisoners still in penal servitude for highway 
robbery. The prisoner whose case attracted most attention 
next to Gardiner was William Brookman. His parents were 
said to be respectable. He was only seventeen years of age 
when he was charged on January i6th, 1868, with wounding 
with intent to murder. He was convicted and sentenced to 
death, but his sentence was commuted to fifteen years' penal 
servitude. It was said to have been his first and only 
attempt at highway robbery, and he had never previously 
been arrested or charged with any offence against the law. 
At the time of this enquiry he had served six and a-half years 
of his sentence. 

The other bushrangers in gaol were : Samuel Clarke, 
sentenced April i8th, 1866. Served five years, one month. 
No previous conviction. 

Daniel Shea, sentenced November 6th, 1865. Served 
eight years, six months. Previously sentenced for two years 
for horse stealing. 

William Willis, alias Dunkley, sentenced May i6th, 
1866. Served eight years. Three previous convictions 
for horse stealing, of nine months, eighteen months, and 
six months respectively. 

Alexander Fordyce, sentenced February 23rd, 1863. 
Served eleven years, nine months. No previous conviction. 

John Payne, sentenced January i4th, 1868. Served six 
years, six months. No previous conviction. 

James Jones, sentenced March 3ist, 1864. Served ten 
years, one month. No previous conviction. 

Robert Cotterall, alias Blue Cap, sentenced April 29th, 
1868. Served six years, one month. No previous conviction. 

James Boyd, alias McGrath, sentenced February 24th, 
1864. Served nine years, three months. Previously sent 
to gaol for five years for horse stealing. 


Thomas Cunningham, alias Smith, sentenced April gth, 
1867. Served seven years, one month. No previous 

Charles Hugh Gough, alias Wyndham, alias Bennett, 
sentenced April Qth, 1867, served seven years, one month. 
Previously sentenced to three years for assault with intent 
to rob. 

Thomas Dargue, sentenced March 28th, 1867. Served 
seven years, two months. No previous conviction. 

Henry Dargue, sentenced March 28th, 1867. Served 
seven years, two months. No previous conviction. 

John Kelly, sentenced March nth, 1867. Served seven 
years, two months. Previously sentenced to two years for 

Edward Kelly, sentenced January i4th, 1867. Served 
six years, seven months. No previous conviction. 

James Smith, sentenced April i5th, 1866. Served 
seven years, one month. Previously sentenced to three 
years for horse stealing. 

John Foran, sentenced October i8th, 1867. Served six 
years, seven months. No previous conviction. 

John Williams, sentenced to death January I4th, 1868. 
Sentence commuted to fifteen years' penal servitude. Served 
six years, four months. No previous conviction. 

William H. Simmons, sentenced April 6th, 1868. 
Served six years, one month. Previously sentenced to ten 
years on two charges of larceny. 

William Taverner, sentenced April 5th, 1867. Served 
five years, one month. No previous conviction. 

Daniel Taylor, sentenced October 24th, 1865. Served 
eight years, one month. No previous conviction. 

John Bow, sentenced February 26th, 1863. Sentence 
death, commuted to imprisonment for life. Served eleven 
years, six months. No previous conviction. 

John Bollard, sentenced October igth, 1869. Served 
four years, seven months. No previous conviction. 

All these prisoners were very young men, little more 
than boys, when they were convicted ; and, of the twenty- 
three, sixteen had had no charges brought against them 
previously to their arrest for highway robbery. The four 
others who had been previously convicted of horsestealing 


were cattle duffers and horse planters, which had been, a 
few years before, scarcely considered to be crimes by the 
residents of the districts in which these young men were 
born ; although the law, when it came to be enforced in 
these districts, called these acts criminal. It was said that 
if Gardiner was to be released these young men, who had 
been led away principally by his example, should also have 
their sentences remitted. 

The reports with such comments as had been made on 
them by the Executive Council were placed before the 
Legislative Assembly, and on July 3rd a debate began 
relative to the cases of Gardiner and Brookman, it being 
understood that the decision in the case of Brookman 
should apply to the other twenty-two named in the reports. 
On a division being taken the vote stood twenty-six for and 
twenty-six against a remission of the sentences. The 
Speaker gave his casting vote with the ayes, and it was 
consequently resolved that the two prisoners should be 
released on July 8th, 1874. 

The Governor extended the prerogative of mercy to the 
others named above, and they were all released at the same 
time. In the case of Gardiner the pardon was coupled with 
the condition that he should leave the colony forthwith, 
consequently a short time after his release he sailed to 
California, and was reported to have died there about nine 
years later. Mrs. Brown, his paramour, had died in New 
Zealand during his incarceration. 

The release of the bushrangers was not carried without 
opposition, however. A monster meeting of diggers was 
held at Grenfell to protest against any mercy being shown 
them. Large meetings were held elsewhere, and it was 
said that remitting the sentences of the bushrangers was 
tantamount to encouraging other evil-disposed persons to 
rebel against the laws. The speakers deplored the action 
of the Governor, the Executive, and the Legislature, and 
prophesied a new outbreak of lawlessness. But the spirit of 
the opposition was less active than that of the persons in 
favour of mercy, while the majority of the population were 
more or less indifferent. And so ended the great outbreak 
of bushranging in New South Wales. 


Bushranging in Victoria ; Robert Bourke ; Harry Power : He Escapes 
from Pentridge Gaol and Sticks Up the Mail ; An Amateur Bush- 
ranger ; The Police Hunt Power Down and Capture him Asleep ; 
A Peacock as "Watch Dog"; The Power Procession at Beech- 
worth ; The Trial of Power ; His Sentence ; Engaged to Lecture 
on Board the Success ; His Death. 

WHILE New South Wales was the chief centre of bush- 
ranging during this epoch, the neighbouring colonies were 
not entirely free from the disease. In those cases in which 
the epidemic flowed, as it were, over the borders of the 
mother colony as when Morgan, Thunderbolt, and Bertram 
crossed into Victoria, Queensland, and South Australia 
respectively the inroads have been dealt with in connection 
with the careers of these particular bushrangers in order not 
to break the continuity of their stories. Having described 
the rise and fall of bushranging in the older colony, it is 
now necessary to return to Victoria and continue the narra- 
tive there. Bushranging in this colony during this epoch 
was rather a survival from the past than a new development, 
and, with one notable exception, the police dealt promptly 
with the lawbreakers. The exception will be noticed in 
due course. 

On September 5th, 1862, Mr. Ryan, the landlord of the 
Travellers' Rest Hotel at Yalla-y-poora, was at breakfast 
with his family and a visitor named Reid, when two armed 
men entered the room. One stood at the door, while the 
other, pistol in hand, stepped forward and cried " Bail up." 
They tied Messrs. Ryan and Reid, and took ten shillings 
from the till and ten one pound notes from under the 


mattress of the bed, where it had been hidden. They did 
not search the women, but they broke some of the furniture 
in the bedroom while hunting for the money. One of the 
robbers pulled the boots off Mr. Reid's feet and put them 
on his own, leaving a very much worn and damaged pair in 
their place. They also took Reid's horse, saddle, and bridle 
from the stable. Mr. Reid told them that he was only a 
poor man, and that the loss of his horse would ruin him. 
The robber replied, " Well, he ain't the sort we want. I'll 
leave him for you at Macpherson's as soon as I get a better 
one." When they had left Mrs. Ryan untied her husband 
and their guest, and Ryan mounted his horse and rode to 
Ararat to give information to the police. Constables Lawler 
and Griffen followed the bushrangers, and tracked them to 
a hut near Mount Sturgeon, in the Grampian Ranges. The 
police expected a fight, but they rushed the hut and 
captured the robbers without a shot being fired, although 
one of them named Regent had a loaded revolver in his 
hand. They were taken to the gaol at Ararat, and were 
convicted and sentenced in due course. 

In July, 1864, a sensation was caused in the Kilmore 
district by a report which gained currency, that Gardiner 
and his gang had stuck up a number of people near Yea. 
A party of volunteers was speedily organised to assist the 
police in hunting down the bushrangers. The pursuers were 
divided into small parties, and on the evening of the 2oth 
one of these, composed of Mr. Grant and Constable Buck, 
came upon three suspicious-looking characters camped on 
Pack Bullock Flat with a mob of horses. Constable Buck 
asked where they were going, when one replied " To 
Melbourne," and another "To the Jordan." Buck called 
on them to surrender, when one man sprang forward and 
clutched him by the throat. Another rushed at Grant, who 
was unarmed. Grant turned and ran to where they had left 
their horses, calling on Buck to come away, and Buck broke 
loose and joined him. Buck however lost his revolver in the 
struggle. They rode away to find help, and returned with 
Mr. Grant's brother, George Grant, and Mr. Walker. Grant 
shot one bushranger dead, Walker stunned a second with a 
blow on the head with the butt of his gun, while Buck 
captured the third after a smart run. The captured men 


were convicted of robbery by violence, and it was said that 
the horses they had with them had been stolen from various 

Robert Bourke was employed as cook at Mr. Broughton's, 
Humewood Station, on the Murrumbidgee River, New 
South Wales, and appears to have been suddenly affected 
with the bushranging mania. He ferried himself across the 
river, and with the assistance of a young lad named Quinn 
stuck up and robbed several people in the neighbourhood. 
He was said to " know every bulga from Barren Jack to 
Manaro," but did not stop long in that district, perhaps 
because it had already been " worked out " by the Brothers 
Clarke and other bushrangers. In September, 1868, he 
crossed the Murray River, and stuck up and robbed 
travellers on the road near Wodonga and Wangaratta, 
gradually working southwards. On October 4th he appeared 
at Mr. Hurst's station, Diamond Creek, about fifteen miles 
from Melbourne, where a daring attempt was made to capture 
him. The story is that Bourke called at William Horner's 
on the 2nd, and asked for a bed. He was told that there 
was none to spare, when he drew a revolver and cried " Bail 
up." Horner slammed the door in his face. Bourke fired, 
and the bullet passed through the door panel, but did no 
great injury. He tried to push the door open, but, failing 
in this, he began to " parley." He said he was hungry, and 
would go away quietly if he was given something to eat. 
Horner then opened the door and gave him a pannikin of 
tea and some bread and cold meat. He sat down on a log 
and made a good meal. When he had finished he asked for 
some " tucker for the road " and a horse, saddle, and bridle. 
Horner said that the horses were all down the paddock, and 
he did not intend to run them in until next morning, but he 
could have some " tucker." He then gave him a large piece 
of bread and some meat. They talked together very 
amicably. Bourke said, " I'm a bushranger from New South 
Wales, and I've come here to see if your police are as clever 
as you blow about them. They'll never take me alive." 
He went away, and, it is supposed, slept in the bush. On 
the morning of the 4th he went to Hurst's place and asked 
for some breakfast. Thinking he was an ordinary tramp, 
Miss Hurst gave him some bread and meat in the 


kitchen, but, as he sat at table, she noticed that he 
carried pistols in his belt. She went into another room 
and informed her brother Henry, who loaded a double- 
barrelled gun to be ready for any emergency. He walked 
into the kitchen, carrying the gun behind him, to have a 
look at their suspicious guest, and asked him where he came 
from and where he was going ? " From Cape Schank to 
Kilmore," was the reply. " Then you're not travelling in 
the right direction," remarked young Hurst. Bourke 
jumped up from the table, as if in a passion, and cried 
" Do you doubt my word ? Do you want to insult me ? " 
He drew his revolver and Hurst brought his gun round and 
fired. He missed, and Bourke immediately shot him in the 
chest. Although he was severely wounded young Hurst 
rushed forward and grappled with the bushranger, while Mr. 
Abbott and two or three other men ran in to ascertain what 
the shooting was about. They secured the bushranger and 
carried young Hurst to bed, but, although every attention 
was paid to him, he died in a few hours. Bourke was 
identified by the police as a man who had been sentenced 
to three years' imprisonment for horsestealing at Ararat. 
When he had served his term he was of course discharged 
and, as was surmised, went to New South Wales and 
obtained work on a station. He lived quietly for about 
eighteen months, when he started bushranging as related. 
He was twenty-five years of age at the date of his conviction 
for the murder of Henry Hurst. 

The central figure in Victoria of this era was undoubtedly 
Harry Power. This notorious bushranger arrived in Victoria 
from Ireland shortly before the proclamation of the discovery 
of gold at Ballarat, and went to the diggings. In March, 
1855, he was seen near Daisy Hill, in the Maryborough 
district, riding a valuable horse, the description of which 
tallied with that of a horse which had been stolen 
and for which the police were seeking. He was 
stopped and challenged to show his receipt for the 
horse. Instead of producing it or saying where it was 
deposited, Power disputed the right of the police to stop him 
on the highway and drew a revolver. The police, very 
naturally perhaps, took this as a tacit admission that he 
could not show any right to the horse, and sought to appre- 


hend him. Several shots were fired and at last one of the 
troopers fell wounded. Power put spurs to his horse and 
galloped away. A warrant was immediately issued for his 
arrest and he was followed and captured. He was convicted 
of " wounding with intent to do grievous bodily harm," and 
was sentenced to fourteen years' penal servitude. A short 
time before the expiration of his term he was employed in 
drawing refuse from the Pentridge Gaol to the rubbish heap 
in a go-cart. A number of other prisoners were similarly 
employed. While the cart he was helping to draw was being 
tipped Power contrived to secrete himself under a corner of 
the heap. He was not missed until evening, when the 
prisoners employed at this work were mustered. The 
prisoners at work with him must of course have been aware 
of his evasion, but professed ignorance in accordance with 
convict etiquette. A search was made and his hiding place 
was discovered, but Power was gone. He stole some clothes 
from a farm not far from Pentridge, and the blade of an old 
pair of sheep shears to defend himself with, as he declared 
that he would not be captured alive. Shortly after his escape, 
on May yth, 1869, he stuck up the mail coach near Pore- 
punkah and continued to rob in the Ovens and Beechworth 
districts for several months, when he made a raid into New 
South Wales, going as far as Adelong. He returned about 
the end of September to his old district and stayed there for 
the remainder of his career. 

Commenting on his actions, the Ovens and Murray 
Advertiser said "Possessed of a thorough knowledge of 
the country, this scoundrel has made periodical descents to 
the settled districts, and afterwards, like a hunted dog, 
betaken himself to the ranges, from a certain portion of 
the population he or whoever else has been masquerading in 
his name has received succour and information, while the 
police have been misled and deceived." The article from 
which this extract was made was copied and italicised in the 
Melbourne Argus, and made the subject of a leading article, 
in which it was contended that if bushranging was to be 
stamped out the sympathisers and " bush telegraphs " must 
be restrained from aiding the bushranger with food and 
information. The Government was urged to pass a special 
Act to enable the police to contend with the difficulty. It 


was said on the other hand that the Outlawry Act, if 
strictly applied, would meet the case. 

William Moore, of Buffalo, was returning from a trip to 
Eldorado, where he had sold his load of farm produce, 
when a young man rode up and asked him " Where have 
you been ? " " What's that to you ? " returned Moore. 
The young fellow said "I only asked a civil question." 
"Well," said Moore, "I've been to Eldorado, and I'm 
going home. Will that satisfy you?" The young man 
nodded, and cantered on. As he passed, Moore noticed 
that he had pistols in his belt, and hastily took a roll of 
notes, worth ^35, from his pocket, and thrust it into an 
empty flour sack in the dray. The young man only rode 
forward about fifty yards, and then wheeled round, revolver 
in hand, and cried " Bail up." Moore stopped, and 
willingly turned out his pockets, displaying a half-crown, 
which he handed to the robber, who rode away. In 
reporting this robbery Mr. Moore said that he believed that 
this was the young man's first attempt at highway 
robbery, as he trembled violently and seemed glad when 
it was over. The Ovens and Murray Advertiser of 
May 7, 1870, in commenting on this case, said : "It shows 
the necessity of more determined efforts to capture Harry 
Power, who has for more than a year robbed rich and poor 
alike in this neighbourhood, and it is the immunity which 
he has for so long enjoyed that encourages young lads to 
imitate him." 

Shortly before, in April, Patrick Stanton, otherwise 
known as Jack Muck, was captured after a smart run. He 
was convicted of having stuck up and robbed a coloured 
man, a well-known splitter and timber cutter, on the Black 
Dog Creek. The splitter had been to town to be paid for 
a number of posts and rails, and was returning home along 
the Rutherglen Road when he was bailed up. 

The Kilmore Free Press reported that Power had been 
seen in Mr. Dunlop's paddock at Mount William. He was 
firing at a mark on a tree. No one interfered with him. 

On May 2nd, Edward Kelly was arrested at Greta and 
was charged with having assisted Power in some of his 
robberies. He was not identified by the witnesses, and was 
therefore discharged. 


On the ayth Superintendents Nicholson and Hare, 
'Sergeant Montford, and Black-tracker Donald left Wangaratt? 
and made a journey into the ranges near the head of the 
King River. It was believed that they had received special 
information from a friend of the bushranger. At the head 
of the glen, near where Power's camp was, a family named 
Quinn resided, and it was said that Power would never be 
caught while they were there. The Quinns owned several 
dogs and a peacock, which it was believed would never 
allow any person to pass up the ravine without giving notice. 
The peacock was reported to be the " best watch dog of the 
lot." His screams could be heard far away whenever 
a stranger approached the hut, and he generally gave the 
first signal, and thus roused the dogs. On this occasion, 
however, the police passed without either the peacock 
or the dogs giving a sign. They came to a hollow tree 
with holes in the stem. This tree had been mentioned 
as "Power's look-out," and it was reported that he 
frequently went into it to survey the country round, 
through the holes, without exposing himself. There was 
plenty of room inside for more than one man, and 
the natural holes formed by the decay of the tree had 
been added to by augur holes bored at a convenient 
height for spying through. They examined it, but it was 
empty. All round was a dense growth of cherry and 
wattle scrub, which they cautiously pushed their way 
through, and peeped into a small clearing. A gunyah 
of bark stood in the middle of this space, and before it was 
.a fire burning. Creeping cautiously up, the police saw a 
man's leg sticking out from under the gunyah. One of 
them seized it, and drew the man out on his back. It was 
Harry Power. He had been lying asleep under the impres- 
sion that he was perfectly safe. He gave a loud howl on 
being thus rudely awakened, and then asked, "Who are 
you?" "The police," was the reply, "No fear," said 
Power ; " you couldn't have got past Quinn's ; the dogs and 
the peacock would not have let you." " We did," replied 
Inspector Nicholson; "the dogs and the peacock never 
saw us, but there were several men there and Quinn himself 
they saw us." " You've given us a great deal of trouble, 
Power," said Inspector Hare, " but we've got you at last." 


" I'm very sorry I didn't hear you," remarked Power ; " I'd 
have dropped some of you if I had." 

In the gunyah were a Government revolver, stolen from 
the police, loaded and capped; a double-barrelled gun r 
hanging from the ridge pole, loaded ready for use; and a 
loaded pistol lying close beside the sleeping bushranger. 
There were also a box of slugs, a powder flask, two boxes of 
caps not quite full, a carpet-bag full of clothes, and a saddle 
and bridle. The bed was a very comfortable one, with a 
good supply of blankets. 

The police informed Power that they had been out in 
the ranges for more than a week and were starving. They 
had not had a mouthful of food for more than twenty-four 
hours, and were anxious to get back to town. "There's, 
plenty of tucker here," said Powei. "Where?" asked the 
police. " In that tree," replied Power. They went to the 
tree and saw a bag hung up among the branches, as is 
common in the bush. In this " bush safe " they found part 
of a large home-baked loaf, some potatoes, tea and sugar,. 

and a piece of fresh beef. " Golly, what a feed we'll 

have," cried Donald, the black, when he saw the food. The 
police cut the beef into steaks and fried them and had a. 
good meal. In their search they found ^15 45. 6d. in 
bank notes and money. 

They mounted Power on the horse ridden by the black 
tracker, while Donald mounted behind Sergeant Montford, 
and left the camp. They reached Wangaratta at seven p.m. 
on Sunday, June 5th, 1870, eleven days after the death 
of Captain Thunderbolt in New South Wales. The news 
of the capture had already been noised abroad in the district, 
and numbers of people, who were out for their Sunday 
evening ramble, crowded the streets of Wangaratta to see 
the noted bushranger. Power waved his hand in response 
to their cheers, and cried "They've caught poor Harry 
Power, but they caught him asleep." 

On Tuesday, the 7th, Power was removed to Beech- 
worth gaol, and a number of men and women in carriages, 
buggies, spring carts, and other vehicles, or on horseback, 
went along the road to meet him and escort him if?to the 
town. The procession as it passed over Newtown Bridge 
was quite an imposing one, and there were collected the 


majority of the residents who had neither horse nor vehicle. 
Power was sitting in a police cart, and bowing right and left 
to the crowd as if he had been some high potentate. He 
wished the people " Good morning," and continually 
repeated his formula about having been captured asleep. 
On his arrival at the gaol he greeted Mr. Stewart as an old 
friend, and hoped they would never fall out. He made a 
short speech, in which he publicly thanked the police for 
the kind and considerate manner in which he had been 
treated since his arrest. 

The Ovens Spectator at this time said : " Henry Power, 
alias Johnson, is a hale, hearty-looking man, although past 
the meridian of life, with grisly hair and beard, and 
certainly not of such an appearance as one would expect a 
bushranger to have." 

On October 2nd Henry Power was tried on four charges 
of highway robbery. On May 7th, 1869, he bailed up 
Arthur Woodside, a squatter at Happy Valley, as he was 
riding towards Bright. The robber took a horse, saddle, 
bridle, and spurs, giving in exchange a knocked-up horse, a 
broken saddle, a bridle tied up with string, and one rusty 
spur. While Mr. Woodside was giving his evidence Power 
exclaimed, " Speak up, young man. You spoke different 
to that when I met you on the road." The mail coach 
from Beechworth was bailed up at the same time. Power 
asked the driver, Edward Coady, to throw out the gold. 
Coady replied, " There is none." " I was told there was," 
exclaimed Power. " Any parcels ? " Coady threw down 
two, which Power opened. There was only one passenger, 
a Chinaman, and Power asked him for the key of his carpet 
bag. At first the Chinaman said " No savvy," but, on the 
revolver being pointed at his head, he handed over the key. 
Power searched the bag, but took nothing out. This was 
the first case. 

On August 2 8th, the same mail was bailed up. At that 
time there were three passengers Mr. Hazleton, Ellen 
Hart (a servant), and Mrs. Li Goon. A boy also got on to 
the coach at Boyd's for a ride down the hill. The coach 
had just passed the gap when the driver had to put the 
the break on and pull up, because the roadway was blocked 
with logs and saplings. Mr. Hazleton exclaimed "Who 


did this ? " when Power stepped out from behind a tree and 
replied " I did. Put up your hands." The passengers 
were made to alight and turn out their pockets. Hazleton 
made a step forward to hand his watch and chain to the 
robber, but Power cried out " Stand back," and raised his 
revolver. He then told Hazleton to put the watch on 
the ground and retire, and when this had been done Power 
went forward and picked it up. Mrs. Li Goon said she had 
no money, but when Power threatened to shoot her she 
gave him fourteen shillings. " It's all I've got and I'll want 
a cup of coffee," she said. " All right," returned the bush- 
ranger, " take this," and he gave her back one shilling. 
The robber took 2 133. 6d. out of Coady's pocket-book. 
There was also a threepenny-piece in it, and Power told the 
coachman to give it to the boy. Mrs. Boyd came down the 
hill on horseback, and was bailed up. She said she had 
no money. " I don't see how ladies can go riding round 
with handsome dresses and fine saddles and bridles without 
money," cried Power. " Here, give me your horse." Mrs. 
Boyd said if he would allow her to ride home she would 
bring him some money, but he refused to trust to her 
promise, and took the horse. He stuck up several China- 
men and a white man, and took their money from them. 
He said to them " It's a cold day, but I've got a nice fire 
down there, go and sit by it ; " and he pointed down the 
hill. He was in a good temper and gave the boy a shilling. 
The little fellow immediately offered to give him the 
shilling and the threepenny-piece for his sister's horse. 
Power laughed and gave the horse to the boy to 
lead to where his sister was sitting. This was the second 

The third charge was the robbing of John Whorouly. 
Power said " I don't like robbing a poor man, but I must 
have money." The fourth charge was the sticking up of 
Thomas Oliver Thomas, on the Buckland Road. When 
called on to bail up, Thomas wheeled his horse round, 
and Power shouted " If you run away I'll fire. My gun 
will carry three hundred yards." Power asked for his money, 
and Thomas replied " I've got none." " That's a lie," cried 
Power, " turn it out." Power repeatedly threatened Thomas 
with his revolver. 


Power was found guilty on each of the four counts, ami 
was sentenced to fifteen years' penal servitu'de. 

Power served out his full sentence. At about the time 
of his discharge the Victorian Government sold the hulk 
Success, the President and the other hulks purchased to 
supply the want of prison accommodation in " the roaring 
fifties " having been sold years before. The Success had 
been utilised as a training ship, and had been kept. In the 
case of the other hulks, it had been stipulated in the terms 
of sale that they were to be broken up, but this clause was 
omitted in the case of the Success. Consequently she was 
purchased by some speculators, and fitted up as a representa- 
tive convict hulk for exhibition purposes, and Harry Power 
was engaged to add interest to the show. The ship was 
exhibited in Melbourne, and was then taken round to Sydney. 
She was visited by a number of people during the two or 
three weeks when she was berthed at Circular Quay, and she 
was then taken down the harbour to be fitted for a voyage to 
London. Here she sank at her moorings. With the 
appliances in Sydney so small a vessel was soon raised, but 
her immersion had damaged the wax figures intended to 
represent the prisoners who had once been confined in her, 
and the other exhibits. While these were being replaced or 
cleaned, Harry Power was sent into the country districts for 
the benefit of his health. He was fishing in the Murray 
River near Swan Hill, on November yth, 1891, when he fell 
in and was drowned. At the inquest held on his body, a 
verdict of accidental death was returned. The Success 
shortly after left Australia for England without any living 
representative of the bushranging times on board of her. 


Bushranging in New Zealand ; Alleged fears of the Escort being 
robbed ; The First Bushranger, Henry Beresford Garrett ; The 
Maungapatau Murders ; Arrest of Sullivan, Kelly, Burgess, and 
Levy in Nelson ; Sullivan's Confession ; The Discovery of the 
Bodies ; Sullivan's Release. 

THE reports of extensive and rich discoveries of gold in 
the Otago Province, New Zealand, in 1861, naturally 
attracted the floating population of Australia to that quarter. 
In September the escort brought down to Dunedin for 
shipment a smaller amount of " the precious metal " than 
had been obtained in any previous month since the goldfield 
was first proclaimed. Several reasons were given to account 
for this falling off. One was that the weather had been 
abnormally cold, and the freezing of the rivers had for a 
time put a stop to sluicing. Another was that the gold 
buyers declined to pay more than ,$ IDS. per ounce, and 
the majority of the diggers, having come from Ballarat and 
Bendigo where ^4 and ^3 i8s. 6d. per ounce were paid 
respectively, refused to send their gold down and were 
keeping it for an anticipated rise in the price. The Southern 
Cross, however, said that the principal reason why the 
diggers were not sending their gold forward was the fear of 
bushrangers. The guard sent with the escort was wholly 
inadequate in the mountains through which it had to pass, 
and therefore the diggers declined to entrust their earnings 
to its care. The Otago Witness pooh-poohed this assertion 
and declared that there had never yet been a case of bush- 
ranging in the colony, and that if a fair price was offered for 
it by the banks and other gold buyers the gold retained on 


the diggings would speedily be placed on the market. The 
bank authorities, on being questioned, said that the New 
Zealand gold contained a larger proportion of silver than 
-either the Ballarat or Bendigo gold, and was therefore of 
less value than the gold won on those diggings. 

The boast of the Otago Witness that there were no 
bushrangers in New Zealand did not hold good for very 
long. Henry Beresford Garrett, who was arrested in London 
on the charge of robbing the Bank of Victoria at Ballarat as 
already related, and who was convicted in August, 1855, 
and sentenced to ten years' hard labour, was liberated from 
the Pentridge Gaol, Melbourne, in August, 1861, on a ticket- 
of-leave, after having served six years. Early in 1862 he 
made his appearance as the first bushranger on record in 
New Zealand. The scene he chose for his operations was 
the country between the Otago Goldfields and Dunedin. 
In one day he is reported to have stuck up and robbed no 
less than twenty-three persons near Gabriel's Gully, now 
known as the town of Lawrence. His career, however, was 
short if lively, for he was captured before -the end of the year 
and sent to gaol for eight years. 

In May, 1865, footpads were said to be becoming 
numerous about Auckland. The New Zealand fferall 
reported the story of a man being bailed up while walking 
along Beach Street towards Mechanic's Bay. A soldier, 
however, chanced to come along at the time and the robber 
bolted. These petty offenders, however, appear to have 
been speedily dealt with, and nothing more was heard about 
bushranging until the public was startled by the reports of 
" the horrible Maungapatau murders," as they were called. 

It appears that Thomas Kelly, alias Noon, Richard H. 
Burgess, alias Miller, and Philip Levy went to the new rush 
known as the West Coast Diggings, early in 1866, and 
committed several robberies there. They were shortly 
afterwards joined by John Joseph Sullivan, a recent arrival 
from Victoria. On June i4th, Stephen Owens, landlord of the 
Mitre Hotel, Nelson, went to the wharf to meet the coastal 
steamer Wallaby, as she arrived from the west coast, and 
saw four men on board. They were very shabbily dressed, 
but he gave one of his cards to Levy and told him that he 
and his mates could obtain accommodation at the hotel. 


On the following day, Sullivan and Kelly came to the hotel 
in new clothes. Sullivan gave the landlord two bank notes 
for twenty pounds each, and one ten pound note, and asked 
him to take care of them for him. There was nothing 
remarkable in this. Diggers were frequently very shabby 
when they returned from the diggings, and until they had 
time to buy new clothes. Sullivan and Kelly appeared to 
have plenty of money with them, as they spent it freely. 
They each ordered a pair of trousers and a velvet vest from 
Charles Flood, tailor, paying ^4 each for them. They also 
spent ^3 iys. 6d. for clothing at Merrington's draper's shop, 
and Kelly paid besides ^3 55. for a dress for a woman. 
He afterwards bought a bonnet, a mantle, and other articles 
of feminine wear. 

Levy and Burgess went to lodge at an oyster shop kept 
by Francis Porcelli. They were covered with mud when 
they went there first, but bought new clothes at J M. 
Richardson's and other places in the town. 

On June 2ist, the four men were arrested and charged 
with the murder of Felix Mathieu. They were remanded 
while the police made enquiries. Sullivan turned Queen's 
evidence, and the tale he told may be summarised as 

Sullivan landed at the Grey River from Victoria in 1865 
with the intention of digging. He was unlucky, and, 
chancing to make the acquaintance of Kelly, Levy, and 
Burgess, who had been sticking up people on the roads 
about the diggings for several months, he joined them. 
One day they informed him that Mr. E. B. Fox, a gold 
buyer, of Maori Gully, was expected to pass along the road, 
and they intended to bail him up, as he was sure to have 
some gold or money on him. Kelly, Levy, and Burgess 
hid themselves in some bushes beside the road, while 
Sullivan was stationed on the road with a long-handled 
shovel, so that those who passed along might take him for a 
road repairer. Owing to this disguise he could keep watch 
without exciting suspicion. He had not been long on 
watch when a man named George Dobson came along, and 
asked how far it was to the coal pits. Sullivan replied 
" About half a mile," and the man thanked him and walked 
on. When he was opposite where the other bushrangers 


were hidden they fired and killed him under the belief that 
he was Fox. When they discovered their mistake they 
dragged the body off the road and buried it, and as it began 
to rain heavily they all went to their tent. A day or two- 
later they went to the road again, and took up positions as 
before, Levy giving orders that not a man should be allowed 
to pass without being searched. Sullivan again appeared 
as a road-repairer, and was pretending to be at work when, 
an old man named James Battle, commonly known in the 
district as " Old Jamie," came along with a sluicing shovel 
on his shoulder. Sullivan said " Good day, mate. Where 
are you bound for ? " Old Jamie replied that he was going 
to "look for a ship," as the diggings were "played out." 
Sullivan went to the ambush and reported that the man was 
an old whaler and not worth robbing, but Levy said he 
must be brought back. Sullivan, therefore, followed him 
and brought him back without difficulty, as he had na 
suspicion. Kelly and Burgess seized him, tied his hands 
behind him, and led him away into the bush. When they 
returned they said he would not trouble them any more. 
They divided ^3 153., which they had taken from the- 
old man. He had informed them that he had not 
done well at the diggings, and had, therefore, taken a 
job of cutting flax to earn sufficient money to enable him 
to get away. 

Shortly after Old Jamie had been thus disposed of, 
Felix Mathieu, John Kempthorne, James Dudley, and 
James de Pontius, storekeepers and gold buyers from the 
Deep Creek Diggings, passed along the road on their way 
from Nelson to Canvas Town. Two of the bushrangers- 
stepped out from their ambush and confronted them, calling 
upon them to stand. They wheeled their horses, intending 
to gallop away, but found the other two bushrangers facing 
them, revolvers in hand. The four travellers then surren- 
dered and allowed their hands to be tied behind them. 
Levy, Burgess, and Kelly led them away into the bush, 
while Sullivan followed the pack horse which had been let 
go, and which galloped a short distance along the road and 
then stopped and began to feed. Sullivan very soon caught 
it, and led it off the road. He took the gold and other 
valuables out of the portmanteau, which was strapped on 


the saddle, and shot the horse. Then he went to the camp 
to meet his mates. 

The four bodies were discovered by William Flett, when 
he was out looking for horses in the bush. They were lying 
less than half-a-mile from the roadway on the Nelson side of 
the third creek from Franklyn's Flat. Mathieu's body was 
lying in the loose ground broken up by the uprooting of a 
large tree by the wind. It was on its back, the hands tied 
behind, and the feet tied together at the ankles. It was 
sheltered and partially hidden by the upturned roots of the 
fallen tree. Dudley's body was about eighteen yards away 
with a handkerchief tied tightly round the throat. Kemp- 
thorne's body was some twenty yards further, lying on its 
back, untied. The body of De Pontius was lying some 
thirty yards further along with a number of stones piled 
loosely around it, suggesting the idea that they had been 
thrown at it from a short distance. Dr. Vickerman said that 
Kempthorne had been shot in the head behind the ear. 
The bullet and some paper were found in the wound, showing 
that the shot had been fired at close range. Mathieu had 
been shot in the stomach, and then stabbed. The wound 
was under the fifth rib, and had apparently been made with 
a large knife. De Pontius had a bullet-wound in the back 
of the head, and the right side of the face was smashed, as 
if from the blows of rocks or stones. It was supposed that 
the bullet had not killed him at once, and he was therefore 
stoned to death. Dudley had been strangled. 

A revolver was found in the gorse hedge at Toitoi by 
Constable Peter Levy. A gun, identified by James Street 
as one which had been stolen from his place on the Kamieri 
River, near Hokitiki, in the January previous, was also 
found by the constable not far away. 

Mrs. Mathieu identified Levy as a man who had fre- 
quently visited her husband's store at Deep Creek, and 
exclaimed when she saw him in the court, " Oh, Levy, Levy, 
how could you be such a villain ? " 

The police ascertained that Sullivan had sold to the 
banks in Nelson gold to the value of ;io6 75. 6d. Kelly 
had sold gold to the value of ^76 and a few shillings, and 
Levy had sold another lot. These, with three nuggets 
Avhich were sold together for ^"5 33. 4d., made a total of 


about ^230 disposed of by the robbers since the murders 
had been committed. It was, of course, impossible to say 
what proportion had been stolen from each of the four 
victims, or whether the whole of it had been taken from 

George Jervis, a publican at Canvas Town, said that he 
gave the prisoners permission to camp in an unoccupied hut 
not far from his hotel. When they were leaving Burgess 

said " Good-bye, old boy ; we're going away from this 

country. There's nothing to be done here." The publican 
had no suspicion as to the characters of the men, but 
thought that they had not been very lucky recently. 

Old Jamie left the diggings a short time before, and 
crossed the river. The old man was well-known in the 
district. His body was discovered by George James Baker, 
of Nelson, one of the volunteers who accompanied Sergeant 
Major Shallcross and the police who started out to search 
for the missing men when the murders were first reported. 
There was some freshly-turned up earth near a fern root 
which attracted Mr. Baker's attention. A log had been 
rolled across the place, and on this being rolled aside and 
the earth scraped away, a portion of the clothing was seen. 
The body was buried in a shallow hole, lying on its back, 
and only just covered with loose earth. The trousers had 
been torn off, but the other clothing remained. 

The trial lasted for three days, Kelly, Levy, and 
Burgess being found guilty and sentenced to death on 
September ryth, 1866. Sullivan was tried separately on the 
1 9th for the murder of Old Jamie, and a verdict of guilty 
was recorded against him. He, however, received a pardon 
in accordance with the terms of the Governor's 

Felix Mathieu was well-known in Australia. He was a 
native of Marseilles, about forty years of age at the time of 
his death, and had been in the colonies about twelve years. 
On his first arrival he was employed as barman at the 
Union Hotel, Beechworth, after which he opened a baker's 
shop at Spring Creek. When the rush took place to the 
Snowy River in New South Wales he went there and 
opened a store, and later on he kept a store at the Lambing 
Flat (Burrangong) and another at the Lachlan (Forbes). 


From there he went to the west coast, New Zealand, where 
he met his death as recorded. 

Levy had been tried at Castlemaine, Victoria, about six 
years before, on the charge of murdering a woman with 
whom he was living, but was acquitted for want of con- 
firmatory evidence. 

Sullivan had been transported to Van Diemen's Land,, 
from whence he went to Victoria in 1853. He opened a 
butcher's shop at Ironbark Gully, Bendigo, where he was- 
well known. He removed and opened the Half-way Inn on 
the road between Bendigo and Inglewood. At the time that 
he sailed to New Zealand he left his wife in charge of a store 
at Mount Korong and sold an allotment of land at Wedder- 
burn to raise money to pay for his trip. He was certainly 
not driven to crime through want or poverty, and if, as he 
said, he was unlucky on the New Zealand diggings, he could 
without much difficulty or delay have obtained remittances 
from Victoria which would at least have been sufficient to 
enable him to return home. 

After his companions in crime had been executed, 
Sullivan was kept in gaol for some months, popular feeling 
being so strong that it was deemed inexpedient to release 
him at once. It was during this time that he made some 
further revelations about his late companions. Soon after 
he joined Burgess, Kelly, and Levy, he said he saw a young 
man sitting propped up against the butt of a tree. He was 
dead. Sullivan asked whether the body was to be buried ? 
Kelly replied " No, better leave it where it is. It will make 
people think he died from exhaustion. I've put many a 
man away like that." It was supposed that he referred to 
the wild times immediately following the discovery of gold 
in Victoria. The young man in question had been strangled, 
and the robbers had taken from his body a silver watch, a 
gold chain, a compass, a few shillings in money, and a 
deposit receipt for ^32, which they burned, to prevent it 
from turning up in evidence against them. 

Soon after his release he returned to Victoria, but was- 
recognised at Bendigo and other places and boycotted. 
People refused to sell him food or to have any dealings with 
him whatever. The Government was urged to put the- 
Criminals' Influx Prevention Act (18 Viet., No. 3) in force- 


against him, but his case did not come under the provisions 
of that Act, as he had not been sentenced to penal servitude 
since his departure from Victoria. He drifted from town to 
town, and finally made his way to Sydney, from whence, it 
was said, he went to South America and was lost to sight. 

The story of bushranging in New Zealand further 
illustrates the intimate relationship between the colonies to 
which I have already referred. Garrett, the first New 
Zealand bushranger, was an old Victorian criminal, and the 
Maungapatau murderers, with whom the record terminates, 
also went to the islands from the same colony, some of them, 
if not all, having been previously transported from Great 
Britain to Van Diemen's Land. 

It may be advisable here, perhaps, to say a few words 
with regard to Sullivan's evidence. The point in it to which 
I wish to draw the attention of the reader is the partial 
exculpation of himself. Substantially, the confession was no 
doubt correct, but we have only Sullivan's own word to 
prove that the murders were committed by his companions 
and that he himself only shot a horse. We notice a similar 
effort on the part of Daniel Charters and others who have 
turned Queen's evidence to minimise the share they took in 
the outrages with which they were charged. Charters, 
indeed, went rather further than the majority of informers 
and stated that he was sent away to take care of the horses 
while the escort was robbed, because he was too frightened 

to "risk his skin." He thus openly admitted his 

cowardice in order apparently to justify himself, to himself, 
for turning informer. Of course, his evidence may have 
been true in this particular, but the constancy of this prin- 
ciple in informers generally of claiming that they merely 
took a very secondary share in the crimes which they are 
the means of bringing home to their fellows, tends to raise 
a suspicion that they do, as a rule, consciously or uncon- 
sciously, endeavour to excuse themselves to the public, and 
perhaps also to themselves, as a sort of relief perhaps to 
their own conscience, for turning informer. Their action in 
this respect contrasts strongly with that of men like Pierce, 
the cannibal, or John Lynch, in making confessions after 
they have been convicted. In these and other cases which 
might be cited the condemned man appears to be anxious to 


let the public know how very bad their actions have been. I 
do not say that they exaggerate their crimes, but merely that 
they are particular that even the smallest facts shall be made 
public. At the same time, they endeavour to satisfy their 
own consciences in some way or other for what they have 
done. Pierce, for instance, excused himself by saying that 
he must either have killed and eaten his companions or 
Starved, although this is not borne out by the facts as far as 
they are known of his last act of cannibalism. Lynch, on 
the other hand, endeavoured to prove that he was the 
instrument of divine vengeance, that he had a mission. But, 
whatever the excuse put forward may be, the fact remains 
that they take care that their crimes shall be known to the 
very smallest particulars. This point is I think worthy of 
the investigation of the criminologist. 


Bashranging in Queensland ; Some Bushrangers from Over the Southern 
Border ; A Bogus Ben Hall ; The Wild Scotchman : Queensland's 
Only Bushranger ; A Man of Many Aliases ; He goes to Fight a 
Duel with Sir Frederick Pottinger ; He Escapes from the Steamer ; 
Recaptured and Tried. 

THERE was still another of the Australian colonies which 
was affected by the evil influence of the bushranging mania 
inaugurated by Frank Gardiner. This colony was Queens- 
land. In May, 1864, Harry, the mailman, was travelling 
along the road between Bodumba and Leyburn, when he 
was stopped by an old man and a boy, one of whom asked 
him, civilly enough, which was the road to Warwick. 
Harry, very obligingly, pulled up to tell them where to turn 
off, when the old man drew a pistol and ordered him to 
dismount. Harry protested against this outrage, and said 
he was a Government employe, but this only produced a 
reiteration of the order with a threat to blow out his brains 
if he did not obey. He then dismounted, and was tied 
very tightly, the robbers paying no attention whatever to his 
complaints that the rope was cutting his wrists. The 
robbers went through the bags, which they left on the 
ground, and, when they had finished, the old man mounted 
Harry's horse, while the boy climbed on to the pack-horse, 
and rode away. Harry, who was left lying on the ground, 
rolled himself over and over to where there were some 
jagged rocks by the side of the road. Selecting the one 
with the sharpest edge, he wriggled about until he got the 
rope across it, and then moved his body backwards and 
forwards until the strands of the rope which bound his 


liands together behind his back parted. Having freed 
his hands, he soon untied the rope round his legs and 
walked to Goondiwindi, where he reported the robbery to 
the police. The Brisbane Courier in reporting this 
robbery said it was the first case of bush ranging that 
Tiad taken place in Queensland, and hoped that that colony 
was not about to have its peace disturbed as that of the 
southern colonies had recently been by bushrangers. The 
Courier, of course, did not consider the convicts who 
escaped into the bush when Moreton Bay was a penal 
settlement as bushrangers in the modern acceptation of the 
term. Some of the more notorious of these have already 
been dealt with in Chapter XV., but if we accept the new 
meaning of the term " bushranger," the Courier was, no 
doubt, correct in its assertion that this was the first case 
that had occurred in the colony. Of course a rumour was 
raised that the perpetrator was Gilbert and some of his 
gang, but the description given of the robbers shows that 
this rumour was absurd. 

About a month later a bushranger named Wright stuck 
up and robbed a number of people in the Rockhampton 
district. He was speedily followed by the police and some 
black trackers, and was shot, early in July, at Wipend, on 
the Mackenzie River, a few miles off of the Peak Downs 
Road. He was riding a racehorse which he had stolen 
from Mr. Cranston, a squatter of that district. 

In September a man entered the bar of the Shearers' 
Arms Inn at Knebsworth, and cried out " Bail up ! I'm Ben 
Hall ! " The proprietor, Mr. Philip Hardy, took a revolver 
out of a drawer under the counter. The bushranger, seeing 
him do this, fired, and missed. Mr. Hardy returned the 
fire, and wounded the bushranger. The landlord ran round 
from behind the bar, collared his assailant, and after a 
struggle thrust him into a back room. Having locked the 
door and made his prisoner secure, as he thought, Mr. 
Hardy ran to the police station to report. He returned in 
a few minutes accompanied by a constable, but the bird 
had flown. The window of the room in which he had been 
shut was wide open, so that the bushranger had merely to 
step out and walk away. It is probable therefore that he 
was making his way to the bush at the back of the house 


almost as soon as the door was locked. He lost his horse, 
however, as the animal was hitched to the verandah post in 
front, and was taken away by the constable. 

One or two other cases occurred, but they were all of a 
paltry character, until the Celtic blood of Alpin Mac- 
pherson, alias John Bruce, alias Mar, alias Kerr, alias 
Scotia or Scotchie, generally known as the Wild Scotch- 
man, was stirred to emulate the heroic deeds of Hall, Gilbert 
and Co. Macpherson was born in Scotland and was taken 
to Queensland when very young by his father. The elder 
Macpherson worked for Mr. McConnell at Cressbrook and 
was generally respected by those who knew him. His son 
Alpin was sent to school in the town and was a favourite 
with his teachers on account of his diligence. When old 
enough he was apprenticed to Mr. Petrie, a stonemason in 
Brisbane, and was again well-liked by his master and the 
members of his family. Alpin was a diligent reader and a 
fluent speaker. He became a prominent member of the 
Debating Class in the Brisbane Mechanics' School of Arts. 
When Mr. Lilley, afterwards Attorney-General, was attacked 
at a political meeting at the Valley, with mud, over-ripe 
tomatoes, and other missiles, on account of his Militia Bill, 
which was strongly opposed, young Macpherson defended 
him bravely, receiving some bruises. Soon afterwards, with- 
out any apparent reason, he ran away from his apprenticeship 
and took to the roads. He began his bushranging career 
by sticking up Wills's Hotel on the Houghton River, after 
the manner popular with the Hall and Gilbert gang. From 
thence he went to New South Wales to " fight a duel with 
Sir Frederick Pottinger," the head of the police force in that 
colony. This determination he announced himself. The 
records of this portion of his career are somewhat obscure. 
It is known that he did exchange shots with Sir Frederick 
Pottinger and some troopers, and that he received a slight 
wound, but it is doubtful whether he ever joined Hall and 
Gilbert, and committed robberies in their company, as he 
said he did. However, he did not remain in New South 
Wales very long. He returned to Queensland and robbed 
the mails, stuck up travellers, stole racehorses, and otherwise 
endeavoured to work up to the standard ideal of the real 
Australian bushranger. 


He had been thus employed for some months when Mr. 
W. Nott, manager of the Manduran station, saw him in a 
paddock belonging to the station, and recognised him. 
Believing that he was there with the intention of stealing 
some of the horses, Mr. Nott hastily collected a party and 
started in pursuit. The party consisted of Messrs. Nott, 
Curry, Gadsden, and J. Walsh. They came in sight of 
their quarry about five miles away, as he was travelling 
along the Port Curtis Road. He was riding slowly when 
first seen, but, on observing the pursuers closing upon him, 
Macpherson let go his packhorse, wheeled off the road, 
and galloped down the side of a steep range. His pursuers 
followed. When he reached the level ground at the foot 
of the range, the Wild Scotchman pulled up, and began to 
unstrap the double-barrelled gun which he carried across 
the pommel of his saddle. Before he could succeed, 
however, Mr. Nott came close up and cried " Put up your 
hands or I'll fire." The rifle barrel was only a few feet 
away, and as the other men came up at once with arms 
ready for use the Wild Scotchman yielded. " All right," he 
said, "I give up." "I knew you were not policemen," he said 
later, "by the way you came down that ridge, but you wouldn't 
have caught me if my horse had not been done up." They 
took away his arms, and then returned to the station, two of 
the captors riding with the bushranger between them, while 
the other two rode close behind. In the pack on the horse 
which he abandoned was found a beautifully-fitted case of 
surgical instruments, with lint and other necessaries for 
treating wounds. He also carried a pocket compass, an 
American axe, and some other useful articles. The axe was 
required for cutting fences or for making temporary stock- 
yards to catch horses in. 

A warrant had been issued for his arrest for his attack 
on Sir Frederick Pottinger and the police in New South 
Wales, and the Wild Scotchman was therefore extradited to 
stand his trial in New South Wales on a charge of shooting 
with intent to do grievous bodily harm. His arrival in 
Sydney was coincident with the resignation of that officer 
as already related. Sir Frederick, however, was summoned 
to appear against him, and it was on his journey to Sydney 
for this purpose that the accident happened which put an 


end to Sir Frederick's life and the prosecution against the 
Wild Scotchman at the same time. 

The Wild Scotchman was returned to Queensland in 
charge of the police. He was sent from Brisbane to Port 
Denison, and was there committed for trial and remanded 
to Rockhampton, the nearest assize town, for that purpose. 
He was shipped on board the steamer Diamantina in 
charge of Constable Maher. He was accommodated with 
leg irons, his hands being so small that he could easily 
slip them through any ordinary handcuffs. In fact he 
boasted freely that the handcuffs to hold him " had 
not yet been made." When the steamer reached 
Mackay he was seated reading near the galley, but 
he had behaved so quietly all through the earlier 
part of the passage that the constable did not think it 
necessary to disturb him by taking him below. There was, 
of course, the usual bustle while the steamer was at the 
wharf, and Constable Maher appears to have lost sight of 
his prisoner, and did not miss him until the vessel had been 
an hour at sea. Then a search was instituted, but no Wild 
Scotchman could be found, and as the Maryborough 
Chronicle remarked, "Constable Maher reached Rock- 
hampton minus his prisoner." 

How he got ashore and removed his leg-irons was a 
mystery which was not solved for some time. However, his 
escape did not profit him much. He went to a paddock on 
the Kolongo station with the intention of stealing a horse 
to enable him to stick up the mail coach, and "make a 
rise." But a party was organised by Mr. Hall, and he was 
recaptured without attaining his purpose. This time greater 
care was exercised by the police to whom he was handed 
over, and he reached Rockhampton, where he was tried on 
several charges of highway robbery and sentenced to twenty 
years' penal servitude. 

There can be no doubt that young Macpherson, like 
many other high-spirited young men, was led away by the 
glamour which gathered round the bushrangers Hall, 
Gilbert, and their young associates ; and which appears to 
have appealed so strongly to the youth of certain tempera- 
ments as to blind them to the enormity of the crimes 
committed by these bushrangers. The quiet bush life in 


Australia afforded them no escape valve by which their 
desire for excitement might be worked off. They did not 
pause to realise that their fight against society was hopeless 
from the beginning, and that in taking to the bush they were 
setting themselves, almost single handed, against the whole 
force of public opinion in the colony. Had they lived in 
Europe they might, perhaps, have enlisted in the army and 
thus been able to do something to satisfy their cravings for 
notoriety and adventure in a legitimate way. In Australia, 
however, there was no standing army, and even if there had 
been there was nothing for it to do in the colonies, and no 
chance of its ever being employed outside, where hard 
blows were to be struck and glory won. It may be true 
that even soldiers do not always find congenial work for 
them to do, and that many of them have lived very hum- 
drum lives, but there is always the hope that they may be 
called on to defend their country, or to fight for its aggran- 
disement, and this hope is sufficient to induce them to enlist, 
when they are brought under the control of the disciplinarian 
and kept out of mischief until their boyish enthusiasm sub- 
sides and they are old enough to enter into the business of 
life. However, Queensland's " only bushranger," the Wild 
Scotchman, was captured after a brief but exciting career of 
about eighteen months, and the colony has not been troubled 
by bushrangers since. 


Captain Moonlite ; The " Reverend Gentleman " Robs the Bank, and 
Nearly Makes his Escape ; He Breaks out of Ballarat Gaol ; He 
Becomes a Reformed Character ; He Sticks Up Wantabadgery 
Station ; A Desperate Battle with the Police ; Moonlite is 
Captured ; His Young Companions in Crime ; Sentenced to 
Death ; The Wild Horse Hunters Turn Bushrangers ; An Abortive 
Attempt to Rob a Bank. 

FROM about June, 1872, to April, 1878, or nearly six years, 
Australia was free from bushrangers. With the exception of 
the two or three robberies in the far west of New South 
Wales, so far west as to be almost out of the colony, the 
roads were safe ; travellers journeyed in all directions without 
fear of molestation ; and the public, as well as the authorities, 
began to congratulate themselves once more on having at 
length definitely stamped out the scourge of bushranging. 
Since the shooting of Thunderbolt and the capture of Power, 
there had been no sign of a recrudescence of the crime, and 
bushranging was beginning to be referred to as belonging to 
a past age. But this peaceful condition of the country was 
not always to continue. The old leaven of convictism so 
frequently referred to, had not as yet been so completely 
eliminated as the public and the authorities hoped and 
believed. Reports began to spread about in 1878 that 
robberies had been committed in the neighbourhood where 
Power had so long set the police at defiance, and shortly 
afterwards the name of Ned Kelly began to be associated 
with them. Ned Kelly is still spoken of as the last of the 
bushrangers, and as his death closes the story, it may be as 
well to deal with some other bushrangers who finished their 


careers before " the gentleman of the Strathbogie Ranges." 
The most remarkable of these was George Scott, alias 
Captain Moonlite. His story belongs partly to the former 
era, but I have reserved it in order to make it more 
complete than would have been possible had it been 
divided. Scott was born in the North of Ireland, and 
emigrated to Victoria. He went to the diggings at a time 
when agents from New Zealand were endeavouring to raise 
a corps in Victoria for service against the Maoris. He 
enlisted and fought through the war in 1861-65, being 
wounded in the leg. On his return to Victoria he showed a 
strong desire to join the Church, and as he was well 
educated and a good speaker he was appointed lay reader 
at Bacchus Marsh, with a view to his being ordained a 
minister of the Church of England, when the Bishop of 
Melbourne should consider him worthy of the charge. His 
duties as lay reader were to travel round the settlement, to 
read prayers and conduct services, his head quarters being 
in the town at Mount Egerton. His chief friends here were 
the manager of the Union Bank and the schoolmaster. He 
soon came to be respected and liked in the district. One 
night, however, a masked man walked into the living 
apartments connected with the bank and ordered the 
manager, who was alone, to bail up. The manager recognised 
the voice and asked him whether he thought this a suitable 
practical joke for a clergyman. Scott replied that he would 
soon find it was no joke. He threatened to shoot the 
manager unless he surrendered and did as he was ordered. 
He then gagged the manager, took him across the street to 
the school-house, and compelled him to sign the following 
statement : " Captain Moonlite has stuck me up and 
robbed the bank." There was no one at the school-house, 
Scott having apparently timed his visit when he knew the 
school would be empty. Leaving the paper on the desk in 
the school-house, Scott took the manager back to the bank, 
tied him hand and foot, and then took about ^1000 worth 
in notes and coin from the safe. The schoolmaster found the 
paper lying on the desk when he went to open the school 
next morning, and at first did not know what to make of it. He 
handed it to the police, who, on going to the bank, found the 
manager gagged and tied. Having heard his story the police 


considered it absurd, and arrested the manager and school- 
master as having been jointly concerned in the crime. The 
idea of charging the minister, as Scott was generally called, 
appeared to be preposterous, the more especially as Scott 
was very active in trying to find incriminating evidence 
against his quondam friends. Being intimately acquainted 
with the lives led by the two men, he was able to supply the 
police with several facts, true or false, which were considered 
strong circumstantial proofs of their guilt. They were com- 
mitted for trial, Scott being bound over as a witness against 
them. He did not wait for the trial, however, but went to 
Sydney, where he put up at one of the leading hotels and 
spent money lavishly. He represented himself as a wealthy 
visitor to the colonies travelling for pleasure, and spoke of 
his intention to visit some of the South Sea Islands. For 
this purpose he purchased a yacht, for which he paid partly 
in cash and partly by a cheque for ^"150. This cheque was 
returned by the bank on which it was drawn as valueless, 
and the man who had sold him the yacht immediately com- 
municated with the police. Scott had already set sail, but 
the police followed him in a steam launch and caught him 
just outside the Heads. He was brought back and tried for 
fraud and was sent to gaol for eighteen months. 

Even the flight of Scott from Mount Egerton did not at 
first convince the police and others of his guilt in 
connection with the bank robbery, but without his evidence 
the case against the bank manager and the schoolmaster 
was so weak that it broke down, and they were discharged. 
Later on a warrant was issued for the arrest of Scott, alias 
Captain Moonlite, but he was then in gaol in New South 
Wales. On his release he was rearrested, and extradited to 
Victoria to be tried for the bank robbery. He was taken 
to Ballarat, and lodged in the newly-built gaol, a most 
substantial structure of blue stone (basalt). The building 
stands in a large courtyard, surrounded by a wall twenty-five 
feet high, also constructed of basalt. Looked at from the 
outside it appears to be one of the most hopeless places for 
a prisoner to escape from imaginable, but Scott had been 
educated as an engineer, and therefore what might have 
been impossible for another man was not so for him. 
There was a wooden partition which divided one cell into 


two. Scott was imprisoned awaiting trial in one portion of 
the cell, and a man named Dermoodie in the other portion. 
Scott cut through this partition, and with the aid of 
Dermoodie contrived to take the lock off the door. The 
two men walked into the corridor and hid in a dark 
corner until the warder came round, when Scott sprang 
on him, grasped him by the throat, and with the assistance 
of Dermoodie gagged and tied him. Scott then took the 
keys, and having shut the warder into the cell, with the door 
closed, so that any other warder in passing it would not 
notice that it had been opened, walked down the passage. 
With the keys he opened four more cells and liberated the 
prisoners in them. He made them take the blankets from 
their beds and follow him, after carefully closing the doors 
again. He opened the door leading into the great yard and 
went to a dark corner under the wall where he tore the 
blankets into strips and tied them together to form a rope. 
Scott then stood up against the wall. One of the other men 
climbed up and stood on his shoulders, another climbed up 
and stood on his, and so on until the last, Dermoodie, was 
able to take the rope and sit on the wall. With the aid of 
the rope each man was enabled to go up in turn to where 
Dermoodie was. and was then lowered down on the other 
side. Here they stood on each others' shoulders as before, 
to enable Dermoodie to climb down, then the others followed 
in turn, and they were free. The south-eastern corner of 
the gaol wall stands near the edge of the hill where the 
ground slopes sharply down to Golden Gully. The six men 
went down the slope to a safe distance, and then Scott said 
they must part, as they would have a better chance of getting 
away separately than if they all kept together. The four men 
liberated by Scott to help him over the wall were speedily 
caught, some in Ballarat and the others not far away, but as 
they were not bushrangers we have nothing further to do 
with them. Scott and Dermoodie went away together and 
slept in the bush. Scott said they must have money, and 
proposed to rob a bank, which he said could be easily done, 
but Dermoodie said he had only been arrested for a small 
offence, and he had made his case bad enough by escaping. 
He did not wish to make it worse. Scott called him a 
coward, a contemptible cur, and said he should never leave 


that spot alive. He gave him five minutes to say his 
prayers. He was in a terrible rage, but before the five 
minutes were over he said that Dermoodie was not worth 
killing, gave him a few kicks and blows, and ordered him 
out of his sight, an order which was quickly obeyed. 
Dermoodie went back to Ballarat and was recaptured a day 
or two after his escape, while Scott was found about a week 
later in a hut near Bendigo. He was tried, and was 
sentenced to ten years' imprisonment for the bank robbery, 
and to one years' imprisonment in irons for breaking gaol. 

Scott behaved in the most exemplary manner while he 
was in Pentridge, and contrived to convince both the chap- 
lain and the gaol authorities that he intended to live " on 
the square " for the future. He was allowed all the remission 
possible under the rules for good conduct, and was released 
in March, 1879. He was a forcible and fluent speaker, and 
he made a living by open-air lecturing in Melbourne on 
prison discipline and other subjects. About this time the 
Kelly gang was at the zenith of its career, when suddenly 
Scott disappeared from his usual haunts in Melbourne. 
Probably his imagination was stirred by the reports current 
about the Kellys ; perhaps he was prompted by jealousy of 
their doings ; or, perhaps, by a sudden desire for notoriety. 
However this may be, he was gone. 

On Saturday, November i5th, 1879, at about three p.m., 
six armed men rode up to Mr. C. F. J. Macdonald's station 
at Wantabadgery, on the Murrumbidgee River, New South 
Wales, and bailed up all the men at work there. Nineteen 
men were collected from various places about the station 
and marched into the dining-room of Mr. Macdonald's 
house. Mr. Miles was then ordered to unlock the door 
of the store, and the robbers selected a quantity of 
clothing and other goods which they required or fancied. 
They were engaged in packing these on some spare horses 
when Mr. Weir, of Eurongilly, and a schoolmaster rode up, 
and were called on to bail up. The schoolmaster refused, 
and one of the bushrangers loudly declared that he would 
shoot him. Hearing the altercation, the leader of the gang 
came out of the store, seized the schoolmaster by the leg, 
and dragged him from the horse, saying at the same time, 
" You old fool, get down and do as you're told. I'm 


Moonlite." He pushed the schoolmaster along, and forced 
him to go into the dining-room where the other men were 

Towards evening Mr. Baynes, the manager of the 
station, returned from a back station, and was bailed up 
and conducted to the dining-room. The women had been 
told that they would not be interfered with, and were 
ordered to cook dinner. When it was ready it was served 
in the dining-room, where all partook of the food, the bush- 
rangers sitting down in turn, while two remained on guard. 
After the meal some grog, obtained from the station store, 
was served round, and Mr. Macdonald was permitted to 
retire to bed. The others remained at the table all night, 
the bushrangers taking it in turn to sleep like the others 
with their heads on the table. 

Breakfast on the following (Sunday) morning was taken 
as supper had been on the previous evening. During the 
meal Mr. Baynes said to one of the young bushrangers who 
was seated near him,* " This is bad work." Moonlite, 
who was sitting on the other side of the large table, 
heard him and jumped up. He charged Mr. Baynes 
with trying to tamper with his men, and swore that he 
would shoot him. He seemed to be in a paroxysm 
of rage, and flourished his revolver about in a dangerous 
manner. The women, however, clustered round, assuring 
him that Mr. Baynes did not mean any harm, and 
begging him to spare him. In a few minutes Scott's rage 
had evaporated, and he sat down again and went on with 
his meal apparently oblivious of Mr. Baynes's presence. 
During the morning several men came to the station, and 
were bailed up and marched into the dining-room. One of 
these men was leading a young filly which had only recently 
been broken in. Scott admired her very much and said, 
" She'll just suit me." He led her round and then tried to 
mount her, but she was very skittish and would not let him. 
This threw him into a passion and he became violent, thus 
frightening the filly and making her more ungovernable. 
At length he swore that if she did not stand still he would 
shoot her, and as she continued to rear and try to get away 
he drew his revolver and sent a bullet through her head. 
When his fit of passion had passed off, Moonlite said he was 


sorry he had killed the mare, but she should have stood 
still when he told her. He then ordered Lindon, the groom, 
to put the horses into the buggy, and, taking Mr. Alexander 
Macdonald as a hostage, drove to the house of the super- 
intendent of the station, Mr. Reid. Here he obtained a 
Whitworth rifle and some ammunition. He then forced 
Mr. and Mrs. Reid to mount the buggy, and drove away to 
Paterson's Australian Arms Hotel, which he stuck up, taking 
two shot guns and a revolver. He ordered Mr. and 
Mrs. Paterson to walk to the station, and, to ensure obedience, 
put their two little children into the buggy and drove away. 
On the return journey to the station he stuck up seven more 
men, and compelled them to march in front of the buggy to 
the station, and go into the dining-room. 

As Moonlite jumped down from the buggy he caught 
sight of Mr. Baynes standing on the verandah. He rushed 
across to him, and charged him with attempting to corrupt 
his men. He ordered Mr. Baynes to be pinioned with a 
fishing line, and had him lifted into the buggy, saying " I'll 
drive under that tree and you can tie the rope to the limb, 
and we'll leave this gentlemen hanging there." A rope was 
tied round Mr. Baynes's neck ready, but the women, seeing 
these preparations for a tragedy, again gathered round 
Moonlite and begged him to let Mr. Baynes go. At first 
he refused, saying "The gentleman does not deserve it," 
but gradually he became less violent, and finally ordered 
Baynes to be untied. Then he called a muster of all the 
men in the dining-room and counted thirty-five. 

After having given orders as to the custody of his 
prisoners, Moonlite mounted a horse and rode round, going 
for some distance along the road on each side of the home- 
stead. He met a man coming from the adjoining station, 
Eurongilly, where he worked. " Hulloa," cried Moonlite, 
where are you going with that pistol ? " " To fight the 

bushrangers," replied the man. "By G ," exclaimed 

Scott, " you've found them, here we are. Hand over that 
revolver and we'll try you for unlawfully carrying firearms." 
The man was compelled to obey, and was taken into the 
dining-room. Moonlite took his seat as judge, having 
appointed two of his mates and two of the station hands as 
jury, and the trial was carried out as nearly in the orthodox 


manner as circumstances would permit. The charge was 
read by the clerk, witnesses were heard and cross-examined ; 
the judge summed up, and the verdict returned was " Not 
guilty." Scott turned to the prisoner and said, " You may 

think yourself lucky. If the jury had found you guilty, 

I'd have given you five minutes to live." He then ordered 
the prisoner to be discharged, and said it was dinner time. 

In the afternoon the vigilance of the bushrangers relaxed 
so far that Alexander Macdonald contrived to make his 
escape. He got a horse and rode to Wagga Wagga, twenty- 
five miles away. He informed the police of what had taken 
place, and Constables Howe, Hedley, Williamson, and 
Johns saddled their horses and started back with him to 
Wantabadgery, where they arrived at four a.m. on Monday 
morning. The robbers were still in possession, and the 
police hoped to find them unprepared, but this was not the 
case, and the police retreated to Mr. James Beveridge's 
station, Tarrandera Park, where they obtained fresh horses. 
By this time five more troopers had arrived from Gundagai, 
sixty-five miles away, and the police decided that they were 
strong enough to begin the attack. The people who had 
been detained in the dining-room speedily made their 
escape and collected on a ridge a short distance from the 
scene of battle, other persons, attracted by the sound of the 
firing, rode up from the stations round until some three 
hundred spectators of the fight were collected on the ridge, 
but they left the police to do the fighting unaided. Constable 
Howen, who had already shot a bushranger in the Thunder- 
bolt rising, was the first to make any impression, and a great 
cheer went up as one of Moonlite's men was seen to fall. 
The bushrangers went into the house, and the police took 
shelter in a hut some distance away. They advanced very 
cautiously, and Constable Bowen shot a second man, falling 
wounded himself almost at the same time. Some time 
afterwards Constable Carroll, who had crept close up to the 
verandah, in spite of the heavy fusilade which was kept up, 
shot a third bushranger, and soon after the other three came 
out and surrendered. Moonlite asked Mr. Wise to go for 
a doctor to attend to Nesbit, saying " Poor fellow ! He was 
shot trying to save me." 

James Nesbit, alias Lyons, who was shot dead, was born 


in Melbourne and was twenty-three years of age. Augustus 
or Gus Wernicke (also from Melbourne), aged nineteen, 
died a few days after the battle. Graham Bennett, also born 
in Victoria, was twenty years of age. He was wounded in 
the arm and recovered. Thomas Williams, alias Jones, 
nineteen years old, was born in Ballarat, Victoria. Thomas 
Rogan was born at Hay, New South Wales, but had been 
living for some years in Melbourne, where he became 
acquainted with Scott. Scott, the leader, was thirty-seven 
years of age. 

Constable Bowen died of his wound on the Sunday 
following the fight, and the prisoners were tried on the 
charge of murdering him. The trial took place at Darling- 
hurst Court House, Sydney, and lasted for four days. A 
verdict of guilty was returned, but the jury recommended 
Rogan, Bennett, and Williams to mercy on account of their 
youth and the belief that they had been led into crime by 
Scott In consequence of this the sentences on Bennett and 
Williams were commuted to imprisonment for life, but 
although some pressure was brought to bear on the Governor, 
Lord Augustus Loftus, the executive declined to extend 
mercy to Rogan. He and Scott were therefore hung in 
Darlinghurst gaol. 

One of the witnesses at the trial, named Ah Goon, said 
that he had been robbed of a gold watch and chain valued 
at ^25. When taking these and some money from him, 

Scott said he was " a Chinaman who took the bread 

out of the mouths of honest workers." It is worthy of note 
also that on the second day of the trial of the prisoners at 
Darlinghurst, the Melbourne Argus reported that James P. 
Nesbitt, father of the recently killed bushranger, was charged 
at the City Police Court, Melbourne, with having thrashed 
and abused his wife, the mother of the bushranger. He 
was ordered to be bound over to keep the peace for six 
months under a penalty of ^"25, and as the money was not 
forthcoming, he was sent to gaol. 

The gallantry of the police in breaking up this gang of 
bushrangers at so early a stage in its career was duly 
recognised. The police authorities voted a reward of ^100 
to Constable Carroll, ^75 to Constable Curran, and ^50 
each to the other constables engaged in the fight. A public 


monument was erected to Constable Bowen, and a pension 
was settled on his wife, while the Government undertook the 
care and education of his children. The police were 
paraded in Sydney ; the Inspector General, Mr. E. Fosbery, 
read a letter from the Colonial Secretary (the late Sir Henry 
Parkes) publicly thanking the police constables for their 
services. After this ceremony, the purses containing the 
rewards were presented and acknowledged. 

It is impossible to divide the bushranging of this epoch 
so as to keep the story of the different colonies concerned 
separate as I have in the previous epochs, because both the 
Moonlite and the Kelly gang operated in both Victoria 
and New South Wales. The small number of bushrangers 
who worked separately from these gangs are not worth 
dividing and may be dealt with here. 

In February, 1879, three young men who had been 
engaged in running in and capturing warrigal horses on the 
lower Murrumbidgee, thought, perhaps, that that employ- 
ment was less profitable than bushranging, and took to the 
roads. Their names were Thomas Gorman (twenty-one), 
Charles Jones (twenty), and William Kaye (nineteen). They 
bailed up a few travellers on the road between Balranald and 
Ivanhoe, and were then joined by William Hobbs, otherwise 
known as Hoppy Bill, because he had a crooked leg and arm. 
Hobbs had been employed as cook at the Hatfield sheep 
station, and was about thirty years of age. On the 2ist 
they stuck up Mr. Grainger's store at Hatfield, about sixty 
miles north of Balranald, and stole 50 worth of clothing 
and other goods, two horses, with saddles and bridles. On 
the following day they stopped a hawker, saying " Bail up. 
We're the Kellys," and took ^"40 worth of goods and 
jewellery from his waggon. On the 23rd they arrived at Till 
Till station, and bailed up twenty-five persons there. Mrs. 
Crombie, wife of the manager, was very much frightened at 
first, but they soothed her by telling her that they " wouldn't 
hurt any one." They took six horses, a quantity of 
ammunition, and some other articles from the store. When 
they left they said that they intended to stick up Wool- 
pagerie station. 

In the meantime Mr. John Thomas Day, storeman at 
Grainger's, travelled as fast as his horse could go to 


Moulamein, and informed the police of the sticking up of 
the store. He was sworn in as a special constable, and 
accompanied by troopers Beresford and Powers and a black 
tracker, started in pursuit. They rode one hundred and 
eighty miles between nine a.m. on Sunday and seven p.m. 
on Monday, changing horses at Clare, where they came on 
the tracks of the bushrangers. On their arrival at Kilferra 
Mr. Casey supplied them with remounts, and joined in the 
chase. The tracks led down to the Four Mile Dam, where 
the pursuers came on the bushrangers in camp preparing 
their supper. As they went forward the bushrangers came 
to meet them, crying out, " Bail up." The police replied, 
" Surrender in the Queen's name." Both parties fired, and 
Constable Powers fell wounded in the shoulder. The bush- 
rangers then threw down their arms and surrendered. They 
were tried on April igth for shooting with intent to murder, 
and were found guilty. When asked if they had anything 
to urge why sentence of death should not be passed on 
them, Hobbs was the only one who spoke, and he said, 
" God forgive me if I have to die." Sentences of death 
were pronounced, but these were subsequently commuted to 
imprisonment for life. 

On Wednesday, November 5th, 1879, an attempt was 
made to stick up the Bank of Australasia at Moe in the 
Gippsland district of Victoria. At first it was supposed that 
the Kellys had paid a visit to this part of the colony. The 
bank was a wooden building, situated about fifty yards from 
the Moe railway station, and nearly opposite the Selector's 
Arms Hotel. The bank closed at the usual time and nothing 
occurred until about nine o'clock p.m. At that time Mr. 
Hector Munro, the manager, was sitting in his parlour behind 
the bank chamber reading. He was alone in the house, his 
wife having gone up the main street to the grocer's shop. 
There was a knock at the door, and on Mr. Munro opening 
it, a man with a white cap over his head, with holes to look 
through cut in it, tried to force his way in. Munro 
endeavoured to slam the door to, but the white cap 
individual had got his foot inside and managed to push his 
way in. "Who are you? What do you want?" cried 
Munro, but no answer was returned. Munro still held the 
man and endeavoured to drag him out of the house. The 


white cap drew a pistol, but Munro clutched him by the arm, 
and in the struggle the pistol went off without doing any 
damage, except to the wall. Then another white-capped 
man appeared and struck Munro on the head. At the same 
time several people rushed over from the hotel to ascertain 
what the shooting was about, and the two would-be robbers 
bolted. Sergeant Irwin and two constables, with Dr. 
Archibald Macdonald and several other civilians, followed 
the bushrangers. They picked up two felt hats and a 
serge mask in the yard, not far from the back door 
of the bank. It was, however, too dark to do anything 
further that night, but at daylight the tracks were 
carefully followed, and shortly before six a.m. Constable 
Beck and Dr. Macdonald found two men sitting on the 
Trafalgar railway platform. The doctor covered them with 
his rifle while the constable handcuffed them. The men 
said that the constable was making a great mistake, as they 
were unacquainted with each other, having arrived there by 
different routes. They were waiting for the train from 
Melbourne to go further up country to look for work. 
Constable Beck replied, " Oh, that's all right ; I'll stand the 
racket. What's your names ? " As they hesitated, he con- 
tinued, "Now, no humbug; I know you. You don't live 
far away, and if you give false names you'll soon be bowled 
out." They then admitted that they were brothers, and 
that their names were Robert and James Shanks. Their 
ages were twenty-three and twenty-one years respectively. 
Two revolvers were found in their carpet bags, and the 
white caps were picked up not far from the platform. They 
were convicted of having attempted to rob the bank, and 
assaulted the manager. 


The Kelly Gang ; Horse-stealing, a Great Industry of the District ; 
Faking the Brands ; Assault on Constable Fitzpatrick ; The Bush 
Telegraphs ; Murder of Sergeant Kennedy and Constables Scanlan 
and Lonergan ; Sticking up of the Faithfull Cieek Station *. 
Robbery of the National Bank at Euroa ; A Big Haul. 

IN the early years of Australian settlement bushranging was 
one of the normal conditions in the colonies, and therefore 
attracted little notice. Even the exploits of such heroes of 
the roads as Mike Howe, Brady, the Jewboy, and Jackey 
Jackey are very briefly related in the Press, and, with the 
exception of the first-named, about whom Mr. James 
Bonwick has written a romance, very little has been heard 
of them since the age in which they lived. In the next epoch 
the doings of the bushrangers were dwarfed in the public 
estimation by the sensational reports of the gold finds, and 
although in consequence of the growth of population and 
the great increase in the number of newspapers their 
actions received a wider publicity than those of their 
predecessors the accounts of them are still meagre. The 
sensational inauguration of the next era by the Gardiner 
gang the sticking up and robbing of the Government Gold 
Escort attracted wider notice to the bushrangers of that 
epoch, and some notice of them appears even in the 
English Press. But the notoriety of even the most 
celebrated of the bushrangers of that epoch was nothing 
as compared with that of the Kelly gang, about whom more 
columns of newspaper matter have been printed than of all 
the bushrangers together in the earlier epochs. Several 
histories of the Kelly gang have also been published, the 


best known, perhaps, being those of Mr. Superintendent 
Hare, who was for a time in charge of the police who were 
trying to capture the bushrangers, and Mr. John McWhirter, 
the reporter of the Melbourne Age, who accompanied the 
police in their final and successful effort to suppress the 
gang. Mr. McWhirter's "History" is largely compiled 
from the reports which had appeared in the Age, and Mr. 
Hare is also largely indebted to the same source. The 
Kellys have also inspired more than one drama, although 
the subject is not a favourite one with moralists, and the 
representation of bushranging dramas has not met with 
favour from a large section of the community. In this 
connection we may note the influence of modern science. 
The stage of the performances of the earlier bushrangers 
was confined to their own locality. They were rarely heard 
of outside the colony in which they appeared. In the next 
stage the telegraph carried news of their performances all 
over Australia, and occasionally a stray newspaper paragraph 
was quoted in England. With the Kellys, however, it was 
different. Notices of their exploits were even sent across the 
ocean by cable, and the British public naturally desired to 
hear more of these daring robbers, and therefore extracts from 
the newspapers of Australia appeared more frequently in the 
English Press than at any former epoch. The consequence 
is that we can reconstruct the history of the Kellys more 
easily than that of any other bushranging family. The 
father of Ned Kelly was transported from Ireland. The 
maiden name of his wife was Ellen Quinn. The eldest son, 
Ned, was born at Wallan Wallan in 1854. Jim was born in 
1856, and Dan in 1861. There were besides four daughters 
namely, Mrs. Gunn, Mrs. Skillian, and Kate and Grace 
Kelly. In 1871, the second son, James, then about fifteen 
years of age, was sentenced to five years' imprisonment on 
two charges of horse-stealing. On his discharge in 1876 he 
went to New South Wales and stuck up a number of people. 
He was captured almost immediately, and sent to gaol for 
ten years. Edward, commonly known as Ned Kelly, was 
arrested in 1870 and charged with having assisted Power in 
one of his numerous bushranging exploits, but was acquitted, 
as none of the witnesses could swear to his identity. It is 
said that on more than one occasion he took care of Power's 


horses while that worthy was engaged in robbing. In 1871 
he was sent to gaol for three years for horse-stealing. 

Horse-stealing appears to have been the principal 
industry of the district, as cattle-duffing had been of the 
Wedden Mountain district, and of Manaro, and the Kellys, 
the Harts, the Byrnes, and others in this district, were quite 
as adept in " faking " brands as the Lowrys, the O'Meallys, 
or the Clarkes had been. But science had made advances 
even in these mountains since the era of the Gardiner gang. 
In earlier times the brands of horses and cattle were " faked " 
i.e., altered so as to represent something different from what 
they were intended to do by branding over them and adding 
to them. There were some expert blacksmiths among the 
cattle-duffers, and these would make a brand to fit over an old 
brand and completely change its character. For instance, a 
simple A brand might have a circle burned round it thus 
(A), or it might have another letter conjoined to it thus 
A-B. The manner in which brands might be " faked " was 
endless, and when it was impossible to "fake" a brand it 
was " blotched," or burned over, so that the original design 
could not be recognised. The Kellys and their companions 
in the Warby and Strathbogie ranges, however, did not go to 
the trouble of making special brands to " fake " other brands. 
They obtained the same results by the use of iodine, which 
burned such marks into the skins of the stolen animals as 
were desired. The plan adopted was to make raids into 
distant parts, collect a mob of horses, drive them into an 
inaccessible ravine in the mountains, "fake" their brands 
and keep them until the sores had healed and the brands 
looked old. Then the animals, having got fat in the 
meantime, were driven to market and sold without fear of 
detection. Horses stolen in the north some even from 
across the New South Wales border were driven south to 
Melbourne, Ballarat, Geelong, or some other large town, and 
sold openly in the public sale yards ; while those stolen in 
the south were driven to some northern market, sometimes 
being taken as far as Sydney. 

In 1876, Daniel, the youngest of the Kelly boys, was 
sent to gaol for three months for having taken part in a 
house-breaking robbery in conjunction with the Lloyds, who 
were connected by marriage with the Kellys. In the 


following year, 1887, warrants were issued for his arrest 
on six charges of horse-stealing, but he could not be found. 
On April 15th, 1878, Constable Alexander Fitzpatrick, 
having learned that Dan Kelly was at home, went to the 
Kellys' hut at Greta, to arrest him. "This hut," said 
the Benalla Standard, "was a well-known trysting-place 
for the bushranger Power." The constable rode up, 
and seeing Dan standing at the door said to him, 
" You're my prisoner." " All right," replied Dan non- 
chalantly. The constable dismounted and hitched his horse 
to a sapling, when Dan said that he had been riding all day 
and had had nothing to eat. After some conversation the 
constable agreed to wait while Dan had some food, before 
taking him to Benalla, and Dan went in and sat down. As 
he did so Mrs. Kelly said to Fitzpatrick, "You won't take 
Dan out o' this to-night." " Shut up, mother," exclaimed 
Dan, " it's all right." The old woman continued to grumble 
in an undertone, while she placed bread and meat and tea 
on the table. Presently she asked the constable, " Have 
you got a warrant ? " " I've got a telegram, and that's as 
good," replied Fitzpatrick. The constable was standing at 
the door, and Dan, who took his arrest coolly, as if it was a 
mere matter of course, told his mother not to make a row 
about it, as it did not matter, and then invited the constable 
to take some food. Fitzpatrick accepted the invitation, and 
went in. As he seated himself Mrs. Kelly remarked, "If 
my son Ned was here, he'd throw you out of the window." 
Dan was looking out of the window at the time, and he 
exclaimed " Here he is." Fitzpatrick very naturally turned 
to look, and Dan pounced on to him. Mrs. Kelly seized a 
heavy garden spade which had been used as a fire shovel 
and was much damaged, and struck Fitzpatrick a furious 
blow on the head, making a dint in his helmet. Fitzpatrick 
fell down, and several people hearing the noise rushed in. 
Among them were Ned Kelly, William Skillian (husband of 
one of the Kelly girls), and William Williams, alias Bricky. 
Ned Kelly held a revolver in his hand which was still 
smoking, and Fitzpatrick was wounded in the arm. Ned 

said, " I'm sorry I fired. You're the civilest trap I've 

seen." He offered to cut the bullet out and bind up the 
wound, but Fitzpatrick refused to let him touch it. Then 


Ned said that the constable could not be allowed to go 
away until the bullet was cut out and he had promised not 
to tell how he got wounded. " You can say your pistol 
went off by accident," he said. " Tell him if he does tell he 
won't live long after," cried Mrs. Kelly. The old woman 
was again told to " shut up." Fitzpatrick, knowing the men 
he had to deal with, promised not to say who had wounded 
him, and took his knife from his pocket. He cut a small 
gash, over where the bullet was, and squeezed it out. Then 
he twisted his handkerchief round the wound and said it 
was " all right." Ned Kelly picked up the bullet and put it 
away on a shelf, and a few minutes later the constable was 
allowed to mount his horse and go. On the following clay 
a party of troopers went to the Eleven Mile Creek and 
arrested Mrs. Ellen Kelly, William Skillian, and William 
Williams. A search was made for Ned and Dan Kelly, but 
they could not be found. Skillian and Williams, when 
brought up for trial for their share in this assault, declared 
that they only came in after the shot was fired, and had 
taken no part whatever in the scrimmage. They were, 
however, sentenced to six years' imprisonment, while Mrs. 
Kelly was sent to gaol for three years. 

It was generally understood that Ned and Dan Kelly 
were in hiding somewhere in the neighbourhood, and some 
twenty-five troopers with black trackers were told off to 
search for them. Fourteen men, residents in the neighbour 
hood, were arrested under the Outlawry Act, on suspicion 
that they had harboured or aided and abetted the bush- 
rangers, and were remanded from week to week for some 
three months, while the police were seeking for evidence 
against them. Mr. Zincke, who appeared at the police 
court on behalf of the prisoners, protested against this 
arbitrary act of the police, and urged that it was illegal 
to detain as prisoners persons against whom no specific 
charge had been made. " If the Kellys were caught," he 
said, " these men would be told to go about their business." 
He stated his belief that the Outlawry Act would not 
warrant these proceedings and that the law was being 
strained in a dangerous manner. The magistrates on the 
bench generally listened to his pleadings with exemplary 
patience and then granted the remand asked for by the 


police. There can be very little doubt that Mr. Zincke was 
perfectly justified in saying that these proceedings were 
illegal, but the magistrates of Beechworth and other parts of 
the disturbed district had learned by experience that, as 
long as the sympathisers and " bush telegraphs " were at 
liberty, the police had very little chance of capturing 
the bushrangers, and so, during the whole time that 
the Kelly gang was in existence, a number of 
people were kept locked up because they were suspected 
of giving food or assistance to the outlaws and, more 
important than all, of giving the bushrangers information as 
to the movements of the police. The number of persons 
thus held under restraint varied from month to month. 
Sometimes a few were discharged while others took their 
places. The largest number in the police cells at any one 
time was thirty-five. But the authorities after all acted in a 
half-hearted and inefficient manner. They arrested only 
men and boys, while the women and girls were left free to 
assist the bushrangers as they pleased, and the women were 
quite as active and quite as efficient in affording assistance 
and information to the bushrangers as the men could have 
possibly been. 

On October 26th one of the parties of police in search 
of the outlaws went into camp at Stringy Bark Creek, about 
eight miles on the King River side of the Wombat Range. 
Sergeant Kennedy was supposed to have received infor- 
mation from a friend of the Kellys as to their whereabouts, 
and thus to have penetrated nearly to their hiding place. 
The friend who had informed the police, however, also told 
the Kellys of their appproach. The country is densely 
covered with stringy bark trees and scrub, and is almost 
impenetrable. Sergeant Kennedy and Constable Scanlan 
had gone into the scrub to endeavour to ascertain the 
whereabouts of the two Kellys, while Constables Lonergan 
and Mclntyre were left in charge of the camp. Lonergan 
was employed in making tea, ready for the two who were 
away, when four men on horseback came up and cried 
" Bail up ! put up your hands." Lonergan made a jump to 
get behind a tree, putting his hand to his belt for a pistol at 
the same time, and was shot. He cried out " O Christ, I'm 
shot," and fell dead. Constable Mclntyre was sitting 


down. He jumped up, but having no weapon upon him 
at the time he surrendered. Ned Kelly walked to Lonergan's 
body and examined it. Then he rose, and said, " What a 
pity ! Why didn't the fool surrender ? " He after- 
wards said that it was all Constable Fitzpatrick's fault. 
" He'd no right to lag my mother and brother-in-law for 
nothing." Ned Kelly ordered Constable Mclntyre to sit 
down as if nothing had happened, and warned him that he 
would be shot at once if he "gave the office" to the sergeant. 
The bushrangers then hid themselves behind the trees. 
Sergeant Kennedy and Constable Scanlan rode up some 
time later, unconscious that anything had happened. When 
they came close Mclntyre said, " Sergeant, we're surrounded. 
You'd better surrender." Scanlan laughed, and put his 
hand to his belt, when Ned Kelly fired at him and missed. 
Scanlan jumped off his horse and made for a gum tree, but 
was shot dead before he reached it. Kennedy wheeled his 
horse round and started at a gallop, but had gone only a 
few yards when he was brought down with a rifle bullet. 
His horse, frightened at the noise and the fall of its rider, 
dashed through the camp, and as it passed Constable 
Mclntyre threw himself across its back. He got into the 
saddle, and urged it forward, when it was brought down, 
shot by a rifle bullet through the heart. Mclntyre fell 
clear, and crawled into a patch of scrub. He found a 
wombat hole near at hand. He crept into it, and lay there, 
while he could hear the bushrangers walking round 
searching for him in the scrub, and swearing that they 
would " do for" him when they caught him. When it was 
quite dark he crawled out of his hole and walked twenty 
miles to Mansfield to inform the police of what had taken 

Inspector Pewtress, with a party of police, started from 
Melbourne on Sunday, the 27th, in a special train, and 
soon reached the camp in the ranges. The bodies of 
Lonergan and Scanlan were lying as they had fallen 
not far from where the fire had been lighted, but 
that of Sergeant Kennedy could not be seen from 
the camp. It was not found until the 3151, owing to the 
density of the scrub around the little cleared patch, where 
the camp had been pitched. Three bullet wounds were 


found in it, and a cloak had been thrown over the face 
to protect it from dingoes or the weather. It was said that 
Ned Kelly had ridden to his camp to fetch the cloak to 
cover Kennedy with, because he considered him to be the 
bravest man he had ever met. 

Rewards of ;ioo each had been offered by the 
Victorian Government for the capture of Ned and Dan 
Kelly. Now the rewards were increased to 500, while 
similar rewards were offered for Steve Hart (twenty years 
of age) and Joe Byrnes (nineteen years of age). 

It was reported that on October 3ist the Kellys had 
stuck up and robbed Neil Christian and other persons at 
Bungowanah, near Baumgarten's, on the Murray River, but 
as the whole of that country was under water, in con- 
sequence of a flood in the river at that time, this was 
discredited. The police asserted that the Kellys were 
somewhere in the mountains, but they searched the " Rat's 
Castle " and other hiding places without success. 

On the 8th December a rough-looking bushman called 
at Younghusband's station, on Faithfull's Creek, and asked 
if the manager, Mr. Macaulay, was about? An old man 
named Fitzgerald, employed on the station, replied 
that the manager was away and would not return till 
morning. He asked the man if he could do anything for 
him ? The traveller replied " No, it's of no consequence." 
He walked to the house and said to Mrs. Fitzgerald, 
" I'm Ned Kelly. You needn't be frightened, we only 
want food for ourselves and our horses." Seeing the 
man talking to his wife, Fitzgerald went to them, and 
Mrs. Fitzgerald said to him "This is Mr. Kelly. He 
wants some refreshments." By this time Ned had his 
revolver in his hand. Fitzgerald grasped the situation 
and replied " Well, if the gentleman wants refreshments he'll 
have to have them." Ned gave a whistle and the other three 
bushrangers came forward and Dan took their horses to the 
stables. Joe Byrnes took care of the Fitzgeralds, while 
Ned and Steve Hart went round and collected all the men 
at work on the station and locked them up in the store room. 
Shortly afterwards a man named Gloster, who had a store in 
Seymour and who frequently travelled round with a spring 
cart loaded with goods for sale at the farms and stations, 


came to the station for a bucket of water to make tea with, 
and Ned ordered him to bail up. Knowing that Gloster 
was of a determined character Fitzgerald shouted to him to 
advise him to "give in." "What for?" asked Gloster. "I'm 

Ned Kelly," exclaimed that hero. " I don't care a who 

you are," returned Gloster. At this moment Dan Kelly came 
up and threatened to shoot Gloster, but Ned forbade him, 
and Fitzgerald persuaded Gloster that resistance was useless 
and prevailed on him to surrender. 

When Macaulay, the manager, came home he was also 
bailed up. "What's the good of your sticking up the 
station?" he asked, "you've better horses than we have and 
anything else you require you can have without all this 
nonsense." Ned said he had a purpose. After some con- 
versation, during which Macaulay said he had no intention 
of interfering with them, Macaulay was permitted to remain 
free, but was closely watched to prevent him from sending 
for the police. The bushrangers then searched Gloster's 
cart, selected suits of clothes for themselves, and made very 
free with the bottles of scent and other small articles. 

On the following day, the nth December, 1878, Messrs. 
McDougal, Dudley, and Casement, in a spring cart, were 
about to pass through the gate over the level crossing of the 
railway, close to the station. Mr. Jennant, who was riding, 
dismounted to open the gate for the cart to pass through, 
when Ned Kelly, on horseback, cried " Surrender, or you 
will be shot." Another bushranger, Joe Byrnes, walked 
down quickly from the station to assist his mate if necessary. 
Mr. McDougal, taking them for troopers as they carried 
handcuffs in their hands, asked what right they had to arrest 
them in this manner, when Ned replied, " Shut up. I'll 
shoot you if you give me any cheek." " You wouldn't 
shoot an old man unarmed," exclaimed McDougal. " Not 
if you surrender quietly," replied Ned. They said they 
surrendered, and Byrnes opened the gate and told them to 
drive to the homestead. As they came up a station hand 
who was standing at the store door said, " Gentlemen, allow 
me to introduce you to Mr. Edward Kelly." McDougal 
and his companions were not much surprised, as they had 
already begun to perceive that their captors were not 
troopers in plain clothes, as they had at first thought. The 


prisoners were taken into the store, the bushrangers telling 
them that the horses would be looked after. 

The store-room was a long wooden building situated 
about twenty yards from the house. It had only one door 
and one window, both near together, so that it could easily 
be guarded. With so many men confined in it the air soon 
became foul, and the prisoners were allowed to come out in 
small batches to obtain some fresh air. Only the men were 
locked up, the women being left free and were not molested 
in any way. 

At about three o'clock Ned Kelly asked Mr. Macaulay 
for a small cheque. Mr. Macaulay gave it to him. It was 
for ^"3. Then Joe Byrnes was left in charge of the station, 
while the others started away, Ned in Gloster's cart, Dan in 
McDougal's, and Hart on horseback. At about half-past 
four there was a knock at the door of the National Bank at 
Euroa, and when it was opened a man requested that a 
cheque might be cashed for him. The manager, Mr. Robert 
Scott, said it was after hours, and he could not open the 
bank again till morning. The man said it would inconveni- 
ence him greatly to have to call again, as he did not live in 
the town. He begged so hard that at length the manager 
consented to give him the money to oblige him. The 
manager opened the bank door, and as soon as they were 
inside the man said, " Put up your hands. I'm Ned Kelly." 
Taken by surprise, the manager was compelled to obey. 
The manager was forced to open the safe door and to hand 
over ^1942 os. 6d. in notes, gold, and silver, thirty-one 
ounces of smelted gold, five bags of cartridges, and two 
revolvers. There had been rumours that the Kellys 
intended to stick up a bank, and arms and ammunition had 
been sent from the head offices in Melbourne to most of the 
country branches. The National Bank at Euroa had been thus 
furnished, but in consequence of the cunning of the bush- 
rangers the arms were useless. Mr. Scott had a loaded revolver 
on his table when Ned Kelly asked him to cash the cheque, 
but he was so unsuspicious of the character of his customer 
that he left it there when he went into the bank chamber. 
Having obtained all the money he could get Kelly turned 
to enter the private apartments, when Scott said, " If you go 
in there I'll strike you whatever the consequences may be." 


Steve Hart put his revolver to Scott's face and said " Keep 
back." Kelly laughed, and walked through the door. He 
went along the passage, and looked out of the back door 
into the yard. Then he returned and told Scott to go and 
put his horse into the buggy. " That's the work of the 
groom," said Scott, " but he happens to be away just now." 
" I'll do it myself," returned Ned, and went into the yard. 
When the horse was harnessed, Kelly said he was going to 
take the family out for a drive. He made Scott get into 
Gloster's cart, and Mrs. Scott and the child into the buggy. 
Dan Kelly and Hart came on behind. When they had 
gone out of the little street Scott asked Ned where they 
were going. " To Younghusband's," was the reply. " I'll 
drive," said Scott, " I know the road." " All right," replied 
Ned, handing him the reins. " But if you try any pranks, 
look out." Ned Kelly treated Mrs. Scott with great 
politeness, so that she said that she could never believe he 
was the bloodthirsty villain he had been represented to be. 

The telegraph wires had been cut on each side of the 
station soon after their arrival, and while the main body of 
the robbers was gone to Euroa a train stopped close to the 
station to set down a line repairer named Watts. As the 
railway station was some distance away it was thought that 
the train had brought the police, and Byrnes prepared to 
defend himself. He shut all the men in the store, and 
charged them to keep quiet. When Watts came to the 
station to enquire how the break in the line had occurred 
and to obtain assistance Byrnes bailed him up, and told 
him that he could repair the line later on. Nothing of 
importance occurred after this until the return of Ned and 
his mates with the bank manager and the money. 

During their drive together Ned Kelly told Scott that he 
was sorry that Sergeant Kennedy had been shot. He 
was a brave man. " But," he added, " I couldn't help it. 
The police ought to surrender when they are called on." He 
showed Scott the presentation gold watch which had once 
belonged to Kennedy and which he had taken from the 
body " to remember him by." 

Soon after their return to the station they all had tea, 
Ned Kelly telling his prisoners that he would not detain 
them much longer. The meal was barely over when a train 


drew up opposite the station and whistled. Ned Kelly 
shouted " Hullo boys, here's a special with the - 
bobbies. We'll fight 'em. We're ready for 'em, however 
many there may be." The driver waited for a few minutes 
and then the train went out. It was soon ascertained that 
Watts, the line repairer, had arranged for the train to pick 
him up after he had had time to repair the break, but owing 
to his being shut up in the station store he had neither 
repaired the line nor been able to inform the engine driver 
of the reason of his non-success. At about half-past seven, 
the prisoners were mustered and told to remain in the store 
for three hours. Scott took out his watch and asked 
" Eleven ? " " No," replied Ned, " half-past. If any one 
leaves before, I'll hear of it and make it - hot for him. 
I'll track him down and shoot him dead. You can't escape 
me." Byrnes turned to Scott and said " That looks like 

a good watch. Let's see it." Scott handed him the 

watch and the robber put it in his pocket. This was a signal 
to the other bushrangers. One took Macaulay's watch, and 
another asked McDougal for his. McDougal took it from 
his pocket and said " I should be sorry to lose it. It is a 
keepsake from my dead mother." "Is it," said Kelly, 
" then we'll not take it." Ned Kelly warned Macaulay that 
he held him responsible for the men. " If you let them 
go before the time," he said, " I'll shoot you like a 
dingo the first time I see you." Shortly afterwards the 
bushrangers mounted their horses, which had been feeding 
in the stables during the time the station was held, and rode 
away. The men were released from the store but were kept 
at the station for about three hours. Mr. and Mrs. Scott 
returned to Euroa in their buggy and telegraphed the news 
of the robbery as soon as possible, which was not before the 
next morning. Gloster rode off to inform the police at the 
nearest town, and the information as to this daring out; 
was spread about by others who had been robbed. 


Tbo Kellys Stick up the Town of Jerilderie ; Robbery of the Bank 
of New South Wales ; A Symposium in the Royal Hotel ; A 
Three-days' Spree ; " Hurrah for the Good Old Times of Morgan 
and Ben Hall " ; the Robbers Take a Rest for a Year ; The Kelly 
Sympathisers Again ; The Kellys Reappear ; Murder of Aaron 

AFTER the bank robbery the " gentlemen of the Strathbogie 
Ranges " again retired to their mountain fastnesses. 
Occasionally a paragraph in one of the local newspapers 
recorded the movements of the police or furnished a story 
about the black trackers, but these notices were necessarily 
very meagre, as the police declined to furnish any information 
as to their proceedings or intentions, because this would be 
of more use to the bushrangers than to any one else. For 
more than a month nothing reliable had been heard of 
them. Even the reports of the arrest and detention of 
numbers of " bush telegraphs " failed to attract any 
attention, and the Kelly gang had almost ceased to be 
spoken of, when suddenly the whole country was roused 
by the news that the bushrangers had stuck up the town of 
Jerilderie, in New South Wales. Jerilderie is situated on the 
Yanko Creek, not far from its junction with the Billabong, 
and at that time contained about 300 inhabitants, a bank, 
four public-houses, a post and telegraph office, and several 
churches, schools, and other buildings. The local police 
station and lock-up was near the outside of the town, and 
there were two officers Constables Devine and Richards 
stationed there. At midnight of February 8th, 1879, a 
man roused Constable Devine from his bed, and informed 
him that a row had taken place at Davidson's Hotel and a 


man had been killed. He exhorted the constable to " come 
quick." Constable Devine woke Constable Richards and 
both dressed as hastily as possible. When they came out 
they were confronted by Ned Kelly, revolver in hand, and 
ordered to " bail up." Not having their arms on them, and 
being taken completely by surprise, the two constables 
surrendered at once and were locked up in the cells. The 
bushrangers then compelled Mrs. Devine, who had also 
partially dressed, to hand over all arms and ammunition, 
and took possession of the lock-up, remaining quietly there 
till morning, their horses being placed in the police stables 
at the rear. It was Sunday morning, and as the Catholic 
church had not yet been finished, the court-house had been 
rented for religious purposes, and Mrs. Devine had been 
accustomed to clean up the place, set the temporary altar, 
and place the forms and chairs ready for mass. The bush- 
rangers told her to perform her task as usual, after having 
extorted a promise from her that she would not mention 
their presence to any one, and to make certain of her keep- 
ing her word one of them, dressed as a constable, went 
with her to the court-house and stayed while she swept the 
floor and prepared the room. Then they returned to the 
lock-up, which was about one hundred yards from the court- 
house, and remained there all day, the bushrangers, arrayed 
in the constables' uniforms, sitting quietly in the guard-room. 
No doubt numbers of people passed and saw them, but no 
one had any suspicion that the bushrangers were in charge 
instead of the police. 

Early on Monday morning Byrnes took two horses to 
the blacksmith's shop to be shod, and the blacksmith, feeling 
some doubt as to the bond-fides of the pseudo trooper, made 
a note of the brands on the horses. At about ten a.m. Ned 
and Dan Kelly, accompanied by Constable Richards, \vent 
to the Royal Hotel, the largest hotel in the town, where 
Richards formally introduced them to the proprietor, Mr. 
Cox. Ned informed Mr. Cox that he required the use of 
some rooms, as the gang intended sticking up the bank. 
He selected a large and a small room on the ground floor, 
near the bar, and conducted the few men about at the time 
into the large room, where they were ordered to remain until 
given permission to depart. Dan Kelly was placed on guard 


at the door to keep order and prevent anybody from 
escaping, and was instructed to shoot the first man who 
refused to do as he was told. On Mr. Cox passing his word, 
as a gentleman, not to mention their presence to any one 
who should come in, he was permitted to take charge of the 
bar as usual, and was given to understand that he would be 
held responsible for the discretion of the women and 
servants. Any one of them whom he could not trust was to 
be sent into the large room. The preliminaries were 
arranged so unostentatiously and quietly, that no rumour of 
the presence of the bushrangers had yet been heard, and as 
customers dropped into the hotel they were taken into the 
big room, and told to remain on penalty of death. 

Having made these arrangements, Ned Kelly walked 
into the hotel yard to reconnoitre. There was a detached 
kitchen here, and the rear of the bank of New South Wales 
was only a few yards from the rear of this kitchen. The 
bank faced on another street, and there was no dividing 
fence between the yard at the back of the bank and the 
hotel yard. Hart was placed on watch near the kitchen, 
while Byrnes entered the back door of the bank. Mr. 
Living, the teller, was in the bank chamber. He was not 
surprised to hear a man enter by the back door, as Mr. Cox 
and other customers frequently came in that way, it being a 
short cut from the hotel. Suddenly, however, Byrnes came 
to the counter, pointed a revolver at Living's head, and 
cried out, " I'm Kelly, keep quiet." Living held his hands 
above his head. "Where's your pistols?" asked Byrnes. 
" I've got none," replied Living. Byrnes then ordered 
Living and the accountant Mackie to " Come over to the 
hotel." They came from behind the counter and did as 
they were told, Byrnes following them. When they reached 
the door of the large room Dan Kelly inquired, " Where's 
Tarleton?" "In his room," replied Living. "Then go 
and fetch him and no - nonsense," said Dan. Living 
went back to the bank, but being unable to find the 
manager in his rooms began to fear that something might 
have happened to him. He was about to return to the 
hotel to inform the Kellys that he could not find the 
manager, when he heard a splashing. He went to the bath- 
room and knocked. Tarleton had been for a forty-mile ride 


that morning, and had just returned and was having a wash. 
When he opened the door and was informed that the town 
was in possession of the Kelly gang, and the bank was stuck 
up, he laughed heartily, believing it to be a huge joke. 
Living assured him that it was not a laughing matter, but 
he was still incredulous. However, he dressed and went to 
the hotel, where he soon discovered that what he had 
deemed impossible had come to pass. The three bank 
officials were placed in the large room. Tarleton, who took 
a seat next to Constable Richards, whispered, " I can knock 
Hart down, shall I?" "What's the good?" replied the 
constable, " Dan Kelly's there, and he'd shoot you down at 

Ned Kelly had hitherto been walking round as a sort of 
inspector-general of the proceedings and giving orders. 
He now entered the room and ordered drinks to be served 
all round. Then he made a speech in which he blamed 
Constable Fitzpatrick for all that had occurred. " I wasn't 
within a hundred miles of Greta when he was shot," said 
Ned, " and up to then I'd never killed a man in my life." 
He went on to say that he had stolen two hundred and 
eighty horses from Whitby's station, and had sold them at 
Baumgarten's. He took out a revolver and exclaimed : 
" This was Lonergan's ! I took it from him. The gun I 
shot him with was a crooked, worn-out thing, not worth 
picking up. I shot him because he threatened my mother 
and my sister if they refused to tell where Ned Kelly was. 

The police are worse than the black trackers. I came 

here to shoot Devine and Richards, and I'm going to do it." 
The men at the table began to intercede for Richards, who 
was sitting quietly among them and who did not speak, but 
Kelly exclaimed dramatically, " He must die." 

Ned got the key of the bank safe and took ^1450 worth 
of notes and money from it. He also took ^691 from the 
teller's drawers. While thus employed, Messrs. Gill, 
Hardie, and Rankin came in on business in the ordinary 
course and were ordered to bail up. They turned and ran. 
Ned Kelly followed and caught Rankin, but the others got 
away. Ned was furious at this escape. He said that news 
of their presence would be all over the place in a few 
minutes, and he swore he would shoot Rankin in revenge. 


He took Rankin to the hotel, stood him up against the 
wall in the passage and flourished his revolver about. The 
men in the room pleaded that Rankin might be spared, and 
urged that he could not have prevented Gill and Hardie 
from running away. While this was going on Byrnes came 
in with Mr. Hardie and said that they could not find Gill, 
the proprietor of the local newspaper, as he had not returned 
to his office. Ned Kelly then let Rankin go and declared 
that he would burn the newspaper office. Mr. Gill it is said 
went out of the town and hid in a clump of trees by the side 
of the river till evening. Ned then walked down to 
McDougall's Hotel and shouted for about thirty men who 
were in or about the hotel at the time. On his return to the 
Royal Hotel he was informed that Hart had robbed the 
Rev. Mr. Gribble of a gold watch. He called Hart up and 
asked indignantly, " What right has a thing like you to rob a 
clergyman ? " He swore a good deal and compelled Hart to 
give the watch back. Complaints were made that he had 
stolen a new saddle and bridle from a saddler's shop, and 
some other articles from other places. Ned called him a 

thief, and ordered him to return everything he had 

Ned Kelly paid more than one visit to the Post and 
Telegraph Office to " see how things were going on." The 
robbers had cut the wires on either side of the town before 
their entry and had chopped down seven telegraph posts in 
the main street near the office. They had given orders to 
Mr. Jefferson, the telegraph master, that no repairs should 
be attempted until permission was given, and Ned took care 
that these orders were obeyed. The robbers held the town 
for three days, in imitation of the manner in which the 
Hall and Gilbert gang had held Canowindra. Jerilderie 
was at this time slightly larger than Canowindra at the time 
when it had been stuck up and held, but there was less 
traffic through it, and consequently less connection between 
it and the outer world than with Canowindra. The road 
running through Jerilderie leads from Conargo to Narran- 
dera. Jerilderie is about thirty miles from Conargo and 
sixty-five from Narrandera. All round are huge sheep and 
cattle stations, with only a few men employed on them except 
at shearing or mustering time. All through the remainder of 


the year the traffic is inconsiderable. There was in Jerilderie, 
however, a large wool-washing and fellmongery establishment 
which employed a fair number of workmen. Canowindra, on 
the other hand, was a wayside town on the main road from 
Bathurst to Forbes, the traffic being considerable all the 
year round. There were also several small diggings settle- 
ments not far away, and the residents of these frequently came 
to purchase articles from the stores at Canowindra, It was far 
easier, therefore, to isolate Jerilderie for three days than it had 
been Canowindra in the earlier days of bushranging. The 
Hall and Gilbert gang also robbed everybody except the 
landlord of the hotel they took possession of. The Kellys, 
on the other hand, robbed no one outside of the bank. 
Jerilderie also was a much more compact town than 
Canowindra, the latter consisting of one long straggling 
street, with only a few houses outside this line, while 
Jerilderie had several cross streets, and at least two parallel 
with the river. 

The robbers held the town from midnight on Saturday, 
until about four p.m. on the' Wednesday following. Shortly 
before the men were allowed to leave the Royal Hotel, Ned 
Kelly gave Living a paper which he said gave a history of 
his life, and the truth about what he had done. Living 
promised that he would do his best to get it published, and 
handed it to Mr. Gill, who read it and forwarded it to the 
Government. It was a long rambling statement, in some 
parts quite incoherent, and much of it false. It was never 
published. At about four o'clock Byrnes left the town in 
the direction of the Murray River. He was riding his own 
horse, and had the money stolen from the bank packed on 
one of the police horses, which he was leading. A minute 
or two later Dan Kelly and Steve Hart mounted their horses, 
and galloped several times up and down the main street, 
flourishing their revolvers and shouting, " Hurrah for the 
good old times of Morgan and Ben Hall." Then they left 
the town along the main road. Ned Kelly, mounted on his 
gray mare and leading a second police horse, left some 
minutes later. Before going, he rode from the police station 
to the Royal Hotel, and told the men detained in the large 
room there that they were free. 

The bushrangers had left the town by different routes, 


probably to prevent any information as to the road 
they had travelled from being furnished to the police, 
but no doubt they had arranged where they should 
meet outside at a safe distance. Late in the evening 
they rode up to Wannamurra station, about twenty-five 
miles from Jerilderie, when Ned Kelly asked Mr. A. Mackie 
whether his brother was at home yet ? Mr. Mackie replied 
that he did not know. " I'm going to shoot him for giving 
horses to Living and Tarleton to ride to Deniliquin for the 
traps," said Ned. They all went to the station together, 
but evidence was soon brought forward to prove that the 
bank employes had not obtained horses from Mr. Mackie, 
and at length Ned exonerated that gentleman for what he 
called " his treachery," but forcibly expressed his intention 
of shooting Living. " I gave him back his life policy," he 
said, " and I only burned two or three of the bank books 
instead of the lot to oblige him. He asked for them, and I 
treated him as fair as I could, and now he takes advantage 
of my kindness to betray me." He walked up and down 
on the verandah of the house for several minutes swearing 
at Living, and more than once said he had a good mind to 
go back and " settle him " at once. His rage, however, 
soon subsided, and the gang proceeded on their way, no 
attempt being made to detain them. 

Jerilderie lies about one hundred and fifty miles, as the 
crow flies, from where the bushrangers were supposed to 
have been hidden, in the Strathbogie Mountains, and when 
the news of the bank robbery at Jerilderie was telegraphed 
all over the country, wonder was everywhere expressed as to 
how the robbers had crossed this country, some of it thickly 
populated, without being perceived. The skill with which 
the robbery had been planned, the boldness and complete- 
ness of the arrangements, and the apparent ease with which 
it had been accomplished, made the Kelly gang the principal 
topic of conversation. The New South Wales Government 
issued a proclamation declaring Ned and Dan Kelly, Joe 
Byrnes, and Steve Hart outlaws, and offered a reward of 
^3000 for their capture, dead or alive. The associated 
banks of the colony supplemented this reward by another 
of ;iooo. The Victorian Government increased the 
rewards already offered to the same amount as was offered 


by the New South Wales Government, while the banks in 
that colony added another ^1000 ; thus making the total 
reward offered for the capture of the four members of the 
gang ^8000. Two thousand pounds per man was the 
highest reward ever offered for the capture of bushrangers in 

For some time the police of New South Wales scoured 
the country round Jerilderie and the plains between that 
town and the Victorian border, while the Victorian police 
were quite as active on their side of the Murray River, until 
at length it was definitely ascertained that the bushrangers 
were safe back in their mountain fastnesses. The paragraphs 
published from time to time in the Beechworth, the Benalla, 
and the Wangaratta papers, and in local papers even further 
removed from the home of the Kellys, tend to show that 
although the black boys failed to follow a trail in the moun- 
tains with the certainty and skill displayed by them in 
leveller country, they still kept the outlaws in a continual 
state of fear of capture. Ned Kelly is reported to have 
called them " those six little black devils, "and to have sworn 

to shoot them if ever he " got the chance." " Those 

trackers," he cried, "I'd like to shoot 'em. They're no 

good in this country. They can't track in Victoria. 

I can track as well as they can out on the plains. I can run 
an emu's trail for miles as well as them. They may be good 
in Queensland or the plains, but they're no good in the 
mountains." Nevertheless they worried him, as his frequent 
complaints of their activity prove. The district was no doubt 
a difficult one to track in. None but a first-class horseman 
could ride through it with any degree of certainty, and no 
one but an aborigine or a white man born in the district 
could cross the ravines and gullies without getting hopelessly 
" bushed," without a guide. 

The arrests and detentions of Kelly's sympathisers 
continued with increased vigour. " Wild " Wright and his 
brother Tom, relatives of the Kellys, Frank Hart, brother 
of the bushranger, the Lloyds and others, passed a 
considerable portion of their time in the cells of the various 
lock-ups around the district. Robert Miller was arrested 
and detained because his daughter, a daring horsewoman, 
was observed to go into the mountains at night with what 


were supposed to be provisions for the bushrangers. She 
was followed more than once, but contrived to elude her 
pursuers by plunging up or down a steep mountain, or across 
an almost impassable gully. She never started twice in the 
same track, sometimes going up one spur or ravine, and 
next time choosing a different one, and leading even the 
black trackers astray. The newspapers frequently urged the 
folly of detaining the father while the daughter was left free 
to furnish the outlaws with food and news. The plain fact 
is, that when special laws have to be applied, there should 
-be no exceptions; otherwise they are valueless. In this 
case the women were far more active and reliable partisans 
of the Kellys than the men, and, as there can be little doubt 
that the Outlawry Act was strained, to put it mildly, by the 
police and the local magistracy, with the connivance of the 
Government, another turn of the screw would not have made 
the actions of the authorities any more illegal, and might 
hare made them efficient. However, determined as the 
authorities were to stamp out lawlessness, they did not 
carry their own illegal acts to this extreme point, and 
probably this postponed, though it did not prevent, the end 
which was inevitable, as it always must be when a few array 
themselves against an overwhelming majority. 

It was about this time that the name of Aaron Sherritt 
was first heard of in conection with the bushrangers. 
Sherritt was the son of an ex-policeman. He was about 
twenty-four years of age and had settled in the district some 
time earlier. He selected one hundred and seven acres of 
ground on the Woolshed Creek, and the Kellys and Byrnes 
helped him to fence it in and clear part of it. He had, 
however, recently sold his farm to a Mr. Crawford, of 
Melbourne, and had built himself a hut at Sebastopol, about 
two miles away, until he could take up another selection. 
He was engaged to be married to a sister of Joe Byrnes, 
and was regarded as one of the family. He was suspected 
of having taken a share in some of the extensive horse- 
stealing raids in company with the Kellys and their friends, 
and had been in consequence an object of police suspicion 
and supervision. This was the man to whom the police made 
advances, and, by promising him the whole of the eight 
thousand pounds reward offered for the capture of the bush- 


rangers, on condition that it should be through his aid and 
assistance that this capture was effected, they succeeded in 
winning him over to their side. He led Superintendent 
Hare and a party of police into the innermost recesses of 
the mountains, and pointed out several camps where the 
bushrangers had been ; but, in each case, the bushrangers 
appeared to have received warning and to- have removed 
before the police came. Some thought that Sherritt was 
playing a double game, and that he contrived to let the 
bushrangers know when the police might be expected to 
arrive, but there appears to be no foundation for this 
opinion, as it delayed his chance of obtaining the reward. 
At first he was careful not to be seen in company with the 
police, but their association could not be kept secret for 
long, and Sherritt soon became suspected by the Kelly 
family. One day Mrs. Byrnes openly accused him of trying 
to betray her son. There was a row, and Sherritt was 
ordered from the house, his engagement with the daughter 
being broken off. After that Sherritt appeared more openly 
in company of the police, parties of whom were constantly 
watching the homes of the four bushrangers on the chance 
of capturing them should they visit their parents or other 
relatives. Sherritt married the daughter of another settler 
in the district, and all communications between him and the 
families of the bushrangers were broken off. Sherritt instead 
of being a friend was considered an enemy of the bushrangers. 
During the latter half of 1879 and the first half of 1880 
nothing of any importance was heard as to the movements 
of the bushrangers. More than once it was reported that 
they had left the country, sometimes it was said for New 
Zealand, and at other times for America, but these reports 
were invariably contradicted within a few days, and the 
Kellys were said to be still somewhere in the ranges. Some- 
times it was said that the money stolen from the Jerilderie 
Bank must be all expended, and that the Kellys would be 
forced to leave their hiding-place shortly, but frequently, 
during the twelvemonths following that raid, nothing would be 
heard of the bushrangers for weeks, and the public almost 
forgot that there was such a gang in existence. Then 
suddenly came the news that the robbers had shot Aaron 
Sherritt on June 27th, 1880. 


For some weeks a party of police had been secreted, a\ 
much as possible, in Sherritt's house, for the purpose of watch- 
ing Byrne's mother's house, and four of them were quietly 
sitting in the inner room at the time of the murder. The 
particulars of the murder were as follows : A German market- 
gardener named Antoine Weeks was living on the Woolshed 
Creek, not far from Sherritt's and Byrnes's houses. He was 
walking home on the evening of the day mentioned when 
he was met by Dan Kelly and Joe Byrnes. " Do you know 
who we are ? " asked Dan. " No," replied Weeks. " Well, 
we're the Kellys," said Dan ; " you do as we tell you and no 
harm will come to you." They handcuffed the German, and 
led him along the road to Sherritt's house. Here Dan told 
him to shout "Aaron." Weeks did so, and on Aaron 
Sherritt coming to the door to ascertain who wanted him, 
Byrnes shot him dead without a word. The bushrangers 
took the handcuffs off of Weeks and told him to go home. 
Then they went to the door of the hut, called Mrs. 
Sherritt out, and told her that she had better send some 
of the traps in her house out to bury her husband, 
because " We've shot him for being a traitor." The 
Kellys were fully aware that the police were in the 
house, and called on them to come out and " fight 
like men." If the constables had come out as invited they 
would have been courting almost certain death. A bright 
wood fire was burning in the hut and the front room was as 
bright as day, while all outside was as dark as possible. 
Had the police therefore left the shelter of the inner room 
and entered the front apartment they would have been shot 
down before they could have seen their enemies, whose 
whereabouts could only have been guessed at from their 
shots or from the flash of their revolvers. Going to the door 
under these conditions would have been almost tantamount 
to committing suicide. The bushrangers raged round the 
hut calling the police the most opprobious names and 
threatening and taunting them in hopes of inducing them to 
come into the light, but as the police kept quiet and made 
no reply whatever to their taunts the bushrangers swore 
that they would " burn 'em like rats in a trap." They fired 
through the windows and doors, but they appear to have 
been just as unwilling to enter the lighted room as the 


police were. In fact neither party would give the other 
a chance. The robbers remained round the hut at this 
labour of hate until two a.m., when they departed. At day- 
break one of the troopers went to where the horses were 
kept, and rode to Benalla to give information of the 
reappearance of the Kellys, while the other three followed 
on the tracks of the outlaws. 


light Between the Police and the Bushrangers at Glenrowan ; The 
Railway Tom Up ; Attempt to Wreck the Police Train ; The 
Glenrowan Inn Besieged ; Ned Kelly in Armour ; His Capture ; 
The Burning of the Inn ; Deaths of Dan Kelly, Steve Hart, and 
Joe Byrnes ; Trial and Conviction of Ned Kelly ; His Death ; 
The Kelly Show ; Decrease of Crime in the Colonies. 

As soon as the news of this fresh outrage was telegraphed to 
Melbourne, Sub-inspector O'Connor of Queensland, with his 
six black trackers, with Superintendent Hare, Inspector 
Pewtress, and several other officials of the Victorian police, 
a number of newspaper correspondents, and a few other 
favoured persons, started by special train for the scene of 
disorder. Eight troopers were picked up at Benalla, and at 
twenty-five minutes past three p.m. the train was stopped 
near the Glenrowan platform by Mr. Curnow, the local 
schoolmaster, who stood on the line waving a red scarf. 
He informed those on the train that the robbers had torn 
up the rails a short distance ahead, with a view to wrecking 
the train, and that they were waiting near to shoot the police 
or any one else who might be sent to capture them. A 
consultation was immediately held to decide as to the next 
step, and while this was going on, Constable Bracken, the 
local representative of the police force, arrived and reported 
that the bushrangers had taken possession of the Glenrowan 
Inn, not much more than a hundred yards distant, and that 
he had just made his escape from them. 

The Glenrowan Inn was built on the Sydney Road, 
about half-way between Winton and Wangaratta, shortly 
after the discovery of gold at the Ovens River, in 1853. 


The glen was then a camping-place for teams travelling 
between Melbourne and the diggings. A second hotel was 
constructed later, and a small village, or what the Australians 
call a township, grew up on the little flat at the gap in the 
hills, locally known as the Putter's Range, a spur jutting out 
from the larger Strathbogie Range. For some years Glen- 
rowan was quite a flourishing little town, the traffic to the 
diggings being large. But when the Great Northern Railway 
was opened in 1873 the village began to dwindle away. 
The railway carried the trade past it to the more con- 
veniently situated and larger towns on either side, and 
consequently the population left for these towns. The two 
hotels remained, and there was also a store, a blacksmith's 
shop, and a few other houses, and these depended for their 
support on the fruit growers, market gardeners, and farmers 
who cultivated the rich alluvial flats with which the lower 
spurs of the mountains are interspersed. The railway 
platform had been constructed by the Government to 
accommodate the trade in fruit, vegetables, and other 
produce which formed the staple industry of the district 
in 1880. 

The Glenrowan Inn was a long, low, weather-board 
building, with a wide verandah along the front. It stood 
some distance back from the road, with a large trough hewn 
from the stem of a tree in front for horses and bullocks to 
drink from. Near this was a sign-board 
with the names of the hotel and the 
proprietor on it thus : 




The robbers, it appears, did not go 

very far when they left Sherritt's hut They were aware that, 
when the news of the murder reached Melbourne and other 
centres, an attempt would be made to follow them, and they 
seem to have made up their minds to a final effort to conquer 
the police force of the colony. They went to the camp of 


the line repairers and roused them up. James Reardon, on 
coming out of his hut, was ordered to get his tools, as the 
robbers were determined to rip up the line and wreck the 
train which they expected to arrive. Reardon at first 
refused, but on being threatened with death he gave in. 
He said that the tools were locked up and that he could not 
get them till morning, but he was told that the chest would 
soon be broken. His mate, Sullivan, was also secured, and 
at length they agreed to do as they were told. They went 
to a bend in the road, a short distance north of the 
platform, being under the impression that the train would 
arrive from Wangaratta or Beechworth. They ripped up 
a number of the rails and piled them across the track. 
Then they marched Reardon and his wife and child and 
Sullivan to the Glenrowan Inn, and took possession. 
They collected sixty-two people in the township, including 
Mr. John Stanistreet, the station-master, and escorted 
them to the hotel. Among the prisoners also was 
Constable Bracken. Ned Kelly walked about telling the 
people that the train would " soon be here " from Rushworth 

with the black trackers and "a lot of other and we're 

going to kill the lot." There was some confusion owing to 
the fears of the women and children, and while the bush- 
rangers were engaged in restoring order, Constable Bracken 
contrived to get hold of the key of the front door. He 
watched for an opportunity, opened the door and ran out. 
He reported that three of the troopers who had been hidden 
in Sherritt's hut had followed the bushrangers, and had 
watched all their proceedings, but they had not ventured to 
attack them, as their ammunition was short, and they were 
not strong enough. Presently a man came out on to the 
verandah, and the police, recognising him as Ned Kelly, 
fired a volley. Ned laughed, and shouted " Shoot away, you 

, you can't hurt us." At this juncture Mr. Stanistreet 

came out of the house, and walked from the hotel to where 
the police were, at the imminent risk of being shot, as he 
was between the two firing parties. He escaped, however, 
and reported that Miss Jones, aged fourteen, and several 
other of the prisoners in the hotel had been wounded by 
the police fire, but none of the bushrangers had been hurt. 
Superintendent Hare had also been severely wounded by 


the bushrangers, the bullet having shattered the bones of 
his wrist. He was taken to the railway station-master's 
house and attended to. At about five p.m. Mrs. Jones, the 
landlady of the hotel, appeared on the verandah, wringing 
her hands and weeping. She called the police murderers, 
and said that her son had been killed and her daughter 
wounded. The police ceased firing, and the boy was 
brought out. He was still alive, and was sent off at once to 
the Wangaratta Hospital, where he died next day. An old 
man named Martin Cherry was also said to have been killed. 
Mrs. Jones and her children and servants, and the men 
and women who had been made prisoners by the bush- 
rangers, left the hotel after dark during a truce, and firing 
was then kept up during the night. About daybreak another 
party of troopers arrived from Benalla, Wangaratta, and 
Beechworth, making the attacking party about thirty strong. 
There was a lull in the firing for a time, while the newly- 
arrived men were being placed in positions, when suddenly a 
revolving rifle and a cap known to have belonged to Ned 
Kelly were found a hundred yards from the hotel at the rear 
of the attacking party. The rifle was stained with blood. 
The police were still discussing this find and speculating 
how the articles could have got there when they were fired 
at from behind a tree. The next moment an extraordinary 
figure marched across the space between two trees. The 
figure looked like a tall, stout man, with a nail can over his 
head. Sergeant Steel, Constable Kelly, and Railway-guard 
Dowsett fired at it simultaneously, but the bullets appeared 
to rebound from the body of the figure. Steel then fired at 
the legs, and at the second shot Ned Kelly, for he it was, 
fell, crying out " I'm done for." The police rushed forward, 
but Kelly raised himself on his elbow and fired, howling 
like a wild beast and declaring that they should never take 
him alive. He continued shooting, but the bullets " went 
wild," owing, perhaps, to his weakening through loss of 
blood, and he was soon grappled with and handcuffed. 
The armour worn by Ned is said to have been made from 
stolen plough-shares by a local blacksmith. It consisted of 
a helmet shaped like a nail can and coming down to the 
shoulders, with a slit in it to enable the wearer to see ; and a 
breastplate, very long, with shoulder plates and back guard. 


The steel averaged nearly a quarter of an inch in thick- 
ness, and the weight of the suit worn by Ned Kelly was 
ninety-seven pounds. The breast-plate showed several 
dints where it had been struck by bullets, but it had not 
been pierced. Ned had, however, received two wounds in 
the groin, and one each in the left foot, right leg, right hand, 
and right arm. He was immediately removed to a safe 
distance, and placed under medical care. Notwithstanding 
the loss of one of their small number, the bushrangers kept 
up a brisk fire from the hotel. At one time a report was 
circulated that Joe Byrnes had been shot dead while 
drinking a glass of brandy in the bar, but as there was no 
apparent slackening in the fire this was discredited. At 
three p.m. Constable Charles Johnson, under cover of a 
volley from the besiegers, rushed up to the side of the hotel 
with a huge bundle of straw, which he placed in position 
and set fire to. The straw blazed up famously, but soon 
died out, and the spectators, of whom there was a goodly 
number, pronounced the attempt to fire the building a 
failure. It was at this time that Mrs. Skillian, a sister of 
the Kellys, rode up, dressed in a well-made black cloth 
riding habit and a Gainsborough hat. She advanced boldly 
towards the hotel, but was stopped by the police, and warned 
of the danger she was courting. She replied that she was 
not afraid, but she desired to persuade her brother Dan to 
surrender. A consultation was held as to whether she 
should be permitted to try, but before a decision was 
arrived at the flames burst out of the roof of the building. 
It may be as well to explain here that the wood of the 
district is principally stringy bark, and that the timber of 
these trees will not burn. It seems probable, therefore, that 
when the straw was ignited against the wall of the building, 
the calico sheeting, with which the rooms were lined 
and ceiled, caught fire and burned, while the stringy bark 
weather boards resisted the flames and only charred through 
slowly. However this may be, the furniture and other 
fittings burned fiercely, and the whole building was in a 
blaze. At this time the Rev. Father M. Gibney, a Roman 
Catholic priest from Perth, Western Australia, who was on a 
visit to the Benalla district at the time, walked up to the 
front door holding his crucifix in his hand. He was followed 


by a number of the police. When they entered the front 
door they saw the body of Joe Byrnes lying in the bar, 
in such a position as to make it probable that the report 
which had been spread as to his death had been true. The 
body was dragged out slightly scorched. Dan Kelly and 
Steve Hart were found dead in a small parlour off the bar. 
From the position in which they were lying it was con- 
jectured that they had either committed suicide or that 
they had simultaneously shot each other. But there was 
no time to decide whether either or which of these con- 
jectures were true. As Father Gibney was about to stoop 
down to examine the bodies, a gust of wind swept the 
flames towards him and compelled him to retire. The 
building was thoroughly alight at last, and the priest and 
the police and others who had entered were forced out by 
the fierce heat. In a very short time afterwards the house 
collapsed, and nothing was left but a heap of ashes, the 
sign post and trough in front, and the detached kitchen 
at the rear. In this kitchen was found old Martin Cherry, 
severely wounded. He was carried out and placed under 
the doctor's care, but died before night. Close beside the 
kitchen was the body of a dog, which had been wounded by 
the attacking party and had crawled between the two build- 
ings to die. Some time before the attempt to fire the building 
had been made, a telegram had been sent to Melbourne to 
ask for a small cannon to blow the house down with. Now 
a telegram was sent to say that it was not required. Con- 
sequently the i2-pounder Armstrong gun with the requisite 
number of men of the Garrison Artillery which had been 
sent off by special train were stopped at Seymour and sent 
back. When the fire had burned down sufficiently for an 
examination to be made, the two mounds of ashes which 
were all that remained of Dan Kelly and Steve Hart were 
given to Mrs. Skillian for burial, while the body of Joe 
Byrnes was reserved for an inquest to be held. Two other 
suits of armour, similar to that worn by Ned Kelly, were 
found, the lightest being ninety-two pounds. During the 
fight "Wild" Wright, Tom Wright, Frank Hart, Kate 
Kelly, several of the Lloyds and the Byrneses, and other 
relations and friends of the bushrangers, had been stationed 
on a ridge a short distance away to see the fun. There was 


also a large number of other and perhaps more disinterested 
spectators, some of them from Melbourne or Beechworth, 
or other even more distant localities. After the inquest the 
body of Joe Byrnes was given to his friends for burial. 
Ned Kelly soon recovered from his wounds and was tried, 
convicted, and sentenced to death for the murder of 
Sergeant Kennedy. In conversations with Inspector Sadlier 
and other police officials before his trial, he said that the 
bushrangers had known of every movement of the police. 
They were aware that the police had been hiding in 
Sherritt's hut for more than a week, hoping to catch Joe if 
he visited his mother. The police had no right to stop a 
man from going to see his mother. When the special train 
arrived the intention of the bushrangers had been to rake it 
with shots as soon as it reached the place where the rails 
had been removed. " But," exclaimed Sadlier, " you would 
have killed all the people in the train." " Yes, of course, 
God help them," replied Ned, " they'd have got shot, but 
wouldn't they have shot me if they could ? " He said that 
Steve Hart had visited his mother at Wangaratta, and 
" didn't we laugh when we saw it in the Wangaratta 
News afterwards. It was true, too, though the police didn't 
believe it." He also said that he had been told that after 
the sticking up of the banks at Euroa and Jerilderie, all the 
branch banks in Victoria sent their receipts to Melbourne 
almost daily. They were not going to stick up any more 
banks. It wasn't worth it. What they had intended to do 
was to stick up a railway train, and they'd have done it, 
" only those little black devils were always about." 

On November the 5th, a mass meeting was held in the 
Hippodrome, in Stephen's Street, Melbourne, with Mr. 
Hamilton, President of the Society for the Abolition of 
Capital Punishment, in the chair. The principal speaker 
was Mr. David Gaunson, M.L.A., and a resolution was 
unanimously carried to the effect that the case of Edward 
Kelly was a fit one for the exercise of the Royal Prerogative 
of Mercy. The Melbourne Argus said that " those present 
belonged to the larrikin classes," but the attendance was 
estimated at 4000 persons (including 300 women) inside the 
building, and about 2000 outside who could not obtain 
admittance. Similar meetings were also held in Ballarat, 


Bendigo, Geelong, and other towns, but these efforts were 
of no avail, and Ned Kelly, " the last of the bushrangers," 
was hung in the Melbourne gaol, on November nth, 1880. 

Within a few days afterwards, a show was opened in 
Melbourne, with Kate Kelly, one of the sisters of the dead 
bushrangers, " mounted on Ned Kelly's celebrated grey 
mare." A suit of the armour used in the last great fight at 
Glenrowan, several guns, pistols, and revolvers alleged to 
have been used in the various raids committed by the 
bushrangers, some handcuffs and other articles which had 
belonged to, or were used by them, were exhibited, and some 
particulars of their careers were given in the form of a 
lecture, but the police authorities soon interfered and the 
show was closed. It was re-opened in Sydney, but was 
suppressed there as " tending towards immorality " almost 
immediately, and the Kellys returned to the obscurity of 
private life. 

Thus ended the last act in the great tragedy which 
had supplied almost the only feature of romance to Aus- 
tralian history. Bushranging had been spoken of as " the 
national crime of Australia," but, as I have shown, there 
was very little bushranging outside the three colonies 
New South Wales, Van Diemen's Land, and Victoria. It 
was rather an excrescence on, than a development of, 
Australian character. It has been estimated that the bush- 
rangers in the colonies from the date of the great outbreak 
inaugurated by Frank Gardiner in 1861, to the death of 
Ned Kelly, with their more active partisans, never exceeded 
300 persons, and the story of their exploits shows how even 
so small a party can disturb a whole country when the 
rebels are reckless and determined. It may be said in con- 
clusion, that crime has steadily decreased in Australia from 
the cessation of transportation. At first, while the gold 
fever raged, the improvement was very slight, but from the 
date when the population settled down to steady work the 
criminal statistics, which are very complete in the colonies, 
show a steady diminution in crimes against the person or 
property. There was an increase in the years during 
which the Ben Hall and Gilbert gang, and their imitators 
in New South Wales, Victoria, and New Zealand, were 
most active, but even this did not materially affect the 


general result, and was speedily compensated for after 
the death of Thunderbolt and the capture of Power. 
In this last epoch of bushranging the Moonlite and 
Kelly gangs arrested the movement to some degree, but 
far less sympathy was exhibited with them than in the 
earlier epoch, and their deeds did not inspire so many 
young men with the desire to go and do likewise, as those 
of Hall and Gilbert had done. In fact, bushranging had 
ceased to be popular, so that the retrogression was small in 
comparison. Since then numbers of gaols have been closed 
or converted to other uses. There was a time when every 
little town in New South Wales had its gaol. Now many of 
these gaols have been converted into factories or stores, or 
are used for municipal or other purposes. In Victoria the 
gaols were fewer but larger, and several of these have been 
closed, while others once full are now almost empty. A 
similar story might be told of each of the other colonies of 
the Australasian group, and Australia as a whole compares 
favourably with other civilised countries in criminal matters. 
What the Irishman calls " the bad drop " in the blood of 
the country has been purged away by the most drastic 
remedies, and it is extremely improbable that there will ever 
again be a Frank Gardiner or a Ned Kelly to incite the 
young and thoughtless to deeds of violence. 



Allerton, Benjamin, 195, 196 
Anderson, James, 155 
Anderson, see Beveridge, John 
Armytage, 117, 118 
Atkins, William, 165 
Atterill, James, alias Thomson, 

Baker, John, 306 

Baldwin, James, 274 

Bankes, Anthony, ill 113 

Barry, 163 

Baylie, John, 145, 146 

Beavors, George, alias Berry, 

108 no 
Bennett, alias Wyndham, see Gough, 

Charles Hugh 
Bennett, Graham, 349 
Bermingham, George, 229 
Berry, James, 79> 80 
Berryman, Thomas, 278 
Bertram, William, 306, 315 
Beveridge, John, alias Anderson, 

106, 107 
Billy from the Den, see Jenkins, 

Bird, 44 

Birkett, Moses, 186 
Black Jack, 24 
Black Mary, 19 

Blue Cap, see Cotterall, Robert 
Bodenham, Thomas, 33 35 
Bollard, John, 306, 313 
Booth, James, 298 
Booth, John, 130 

Boulton, John, 167 169 

Bourke, Robert, 316 

Bowe, Charles, 145, 146 

Bow, John, 202204, 256, 276, 

Boyd, 57, 58 

Boyd, James, alias McGrath, 296, 


Brace, Emanuel, 56, 57 
Brady, Mathew, 4447, 71, 82, 


Brannagan, Francis, 155 
Brennan, see Smith, Henry 
Brennan, Stephen, 123 
Britton, Frederick, 207 
Brookman, William, 282, 312 314 
Broomfield, James, 114 
Broughton, 41 
Brown, 47 
Brown, Harry, 274 
Brown, James, 3335, 39 
Brown, William, 155 
Brownlow, John, 206 
Bryan, William, 1 66 
Bryant, James, 41 47 
Bryant, James, 87 
Bryant, Richard, 154, 155, 158 
Bull, 57, 58 
Bullfrog, Jacky, 199 
Burgess, Richard H. f alias Miller, 


Burke, 221 225, 276 
Burns, John, 41 
Burrow, Arthur, 166 
Byrnes, Joe, 360382 



Campbell, Robert, 286 

Captain Melville, see McCallum, 

Frank, alias Smith 
Captain Moonlite, see Scott, George 
Captain Thunderbolt, see Ward, 

" Carrots," 29 

Cash, Martin, 118123, 130 
Cashan, alias Nowlan, 99 IOI 
Charters, Daniel, 202204, 333 
Cheetham, 37 
Chesley, John, 155 
Chinese Bushranger, The, 293 
Chitty, Robert, 87 
Christie, see Gardiner, Frank 
Clarke, 294 

Clarke, James, 269270 
Clarke, John, 269276, 317, 355 
Clarke, Samuel, 312 
Clarke, Thomas, 269276, 317, 355 
Clayton, 239 

Clayton, Thomas, 173176 
Clegg, James, 173176 
Connell, Morris, 48 
Connell, Patrick, 270, 276 
Connell, Tom, 270, 276 
Connelly, Patrick, 41 
Connors, John, 298 
Con way, John, 115 117 
Cooper, Patrick, 173176 
Cornelius, Bill, alias Kenelly, j 

3335. 39 
Cotterall, Robert, alias Blue Cap, 

286, 312 

Cowan, or Cohen, 45, 46 
Cox, Thomas, 37, 38 
Coxen's Tom, see Long Tom 
Crawford, James, 41, 46 
Crookwell, James, 232, 279 
Crumsden, George, 123 
Cummings, 281 

Cunningham, Thomas, alias Smith, 

274, 313 

Curran, Paddy, 7173, 78, 79, 80 

Dalton, 185 

Dalton, Alexander, 3334, 39 

Dalton, James, 12 1, 122 

Daly, Patrick or Patsy, 213, 214 

Dargue, Henry, 313 

Dargue, Thomas, 313 

Davis, 200, 276 

Davis, Bill, 37 

Davis, George James, alias Huntley, 
106, 107 

Davis, Joseph, 173 176 

Davis, Michael Henry, 195 

Davis, Teddy or Edward, The Jew- 
boy, 71, 8288, 353 

Davis, William, in 113 

Dermoodie, 344 

Dido, see Driscoll, Timothy or 

Dobson, 307 

Donnelly, 294 

Donohoe, Johnny, 55 

Donovan, Daniel, 155 

Donovan, John, 145 

Douglass, John, 166 

Downes, John, 41 

Downey, James, 199 

Driscoll, Timothy or William, alias 
Dido, 182 184 

Duncan, James, 143 

Duncan, William, 129, 130 

Dunkley, see Willis, William 

Dunleavy, John, 239 241, 276 

Dunleavy, see Lynch, John 

Dunn, Johnny, 241256, 276, 304 

Dunne, 41, 42, 44, 47 

Dunne, William, 228 

Edwards, William, 160 

Egan, John, 281 



Ehrstein, Aaron von, 195 

Ellis, John, alias Yanky Jack, 


Ellison, George, 161 
Eumarrah, 30 

Eureka Gang, The, 145, 146 
Everett, John, 87 
Farrell, Christopher, 140 
Farrer, Abraham, 129, 130 
Finegan, John, 145, 146 
Fitzgerald, Patrick, alias Paddy 

Wandong, 282 
Fletcher, John, 117 
Fletcher, William, 270 
Fogarty, Young, 9 99 
Foley, Charles, 206 
Foley, Francis, 217 
Foley, John, 212, 216, 217, 276 
Foley, Timothy, 217 
Foran, John, 282, 313 
Foran, Patrick, 298 
Ford, Henry, I So 
Ford, John, 278 
Fordyce, Alexander, 202 204, 256, 

276, 312 

Forster, John, 236 
Gardiner, Frank, alias Christie, 

193204, 212, 254257, 

269, 271, 276, 304, 311314, 

316, 335. 353. 355. 384, 3^5 
Gardner, John, 129, 130 
Garrett, Henry Beresford, 167 169, 


Garroway, William, 166 
German Bill, 259, 274 
Gilbert, Johnny, alias Roberts, 205, 

212, 217253, 256 258, 

269, 271, 276, 304, 326, 337, 

339. 369, 384, 385 
" Ginger," 173176 
Glanvill, Richard, 87 

Goldman, 141 

Goodison, Christopher, 165 

Gordon, 276 

Gordon, Richard, 181 

Gorman, Thomas, 350 

Gough, Charles Hugh, alias \Vynd- 

ham, alias Bennett, 274, 313 
Green, 95 

Greenhill, Bob, 33 38 
Gregory, 47 

Griffiths, Dennis, 173 176 
Griffiths, George, 115 
Griffiths, John, 41 
Gunn, John, 115 
Gunn, William, 91 
Hall, 59 
Hall, Ben, 217, 221253, 256258 

269, 271, 276, 304, 337, 339, 

370, 384, 385 
Hammond, James, 160 
Hampton, Thomas, 298 
Hanslip, George, 170 
Harrison, Samuel, 115 
Hart, Steve, 360382 
Hath, see Hitchcock Anthony 
Healy, John, 207 
Heather, 208, 209 
Herbert, William, see Jones, Charles 
Hickson, 186 
Hill, James, 233 
Hitchcock, Anthony, alias Hath, 

Hobbs, William, alias Hoppy Bill, 


Hodgetts, 47 
Hogan, 117, 118 
Hopkins, 40, 41, 47 
Hopkins, Jonas, 1 14 
Home, Joseph, 306 
Houlihan, Michael, 130 
Howe, Mike, 1921, 82, 353 



Huntley, see Davis, George James 
Hum, Thomas, 115 
Hutchinson, William, 90 
Jackey, Bullfrog, see Bullfrog 
Jackey, Jackey, the Gentleman 

Bushranger, see Westwood, 


Jack, Muck, see Stanton Patrick 
Jackson, James, 86 
Jackson, John, 129, 130 
Jack the Lagger, see Jones, John 
Jack the Rammer, 57, 58 
James, John, alias Johnston, 142, 


Jamieson, George, 182 
Jefferies, 40, 46, 47 
Jeffs, Riley, 115117 
Jenkins, Henry, alias Billy from the 

Deu, 181 

Jenkins, John, 56, 57 
Jepps, the Vandemonian, 96 99 
Jewboy, The, see Davis, Edward or 


Johnson, Charley, 284 
Johnson, see Power, Harry 
Johnson, William, 274 
Johnston, Henry, 145, 146 
Johnstone, Robert, 291 
Jones, 182 
Jones, Charles, 350 
Jones, Charles, alias Herbert, 

William, 233 
Jones, David, 51, 53 
Jones, James, 233, 312 
Jones, John, 184 
Jones, John, alias Jack the Lagger, 

108 no 

Jones, Richard, 155 
Jones, see Williams, Thomas 
Jones, Thomas, 118 122 
Jones, William, 155 

Kavanagh, Lawrence, 118 123, 

129, 130, 132 
Kaye, William, 350 
Keene, Henry, 194, 196 
Kelly, 185 
Kelly, Bartley, 109 
Kelly, Dan, 354384 
Kelly, Edward, 282, 313 
Kelly, James, 154, 155 
Kelly, James, 298 
Kelly, James, 354 
Kelly, John, 274, 313 
Kelly, Ned, 320, 341, 345, 353 


Kelly, Ted, 282 
Kelly, Thomas, alias Noon, 327 


Kenelly, see Cornelius, Bill 
Kennedy, James, alias Southgate, 


Keer, John, alias Maher, 280, 299 
Keys, 58 

Lacey, George, 41 
Lambeth, William, 115 
Lawler, Michael, 194, 196 
Layworth, William, 161 
Lee, Henry, 117 
Lee, William, 279 
Levy, Philip, 327332 
Lewis, Nicholas, 108 no 
Liddell, John, 121, 122 
Long, Tom, alias Coxen's Tom ; 


Long, Ned, 93 

Lowe, see Young, John 

Lowry, Frederick, 212, 219, 220, 

256, 276, 355 
Lynam, George, 232 
Lynch, John, alias Dunleavy, 60 

70, 77, 333 
Lynch, Patrick, 123 



Lynch, William, 93 
Lyons, see Nesbit, James 
McCabe, James, 41, 42, 44, 45 
McCallum, Frank, alias Thomas 

Smith, alias Captain Melville, 

148156, 236 
McCallum, James, 1 14 
McCann, John, 93 
McCarthy, 184 
McDonald, Hector, 22 
McDonald, William, see O'Donnell, 


McGrath, see Boyd, James 
McGuire, John, 202 204 
McGuire, Thomas, 84 
Mclntyre, 99 102 
McKenny, 47 
McLean, 109 

McMahon, John, alias McManus, 195 
Maberley, 186 
Mack, William, 158 
Mackay, Charles, 207 
Mackay, James, 207 
Mackie, William, 195, 291, 298 
Macpherson, Alpin, alias The Wild 

Scotchman, 337 340 
Maher, see Kerr, John 
Maher, Walter, 283 
Maloney, Thomas, 155 
Manns, Henry, 202 204, 276 
Marriott, Henry, 167169 
Marshall, John, 87 
Mason, 299 
Mathers, John, 3336 
Mathews, Daniel, 232 
Maynard, Donald, 59 
Mayne, 59 

Melville, Edward, 142 
Melville, George, 164, 165 
Melville, Captain, see McCallum, 

Frank, alias Smith 

Middleton, Richard, alias Ruggy 
Dick, 277 

Miles, John, 280 

Miller, see Burgess, Richtrd H. 

Miller, see Slater 

Mills, Peter, 21 

Mitchell, Robert, 173176 

Moonlite, Captain, see Scott, 

Moran, 298 

Moore, 122 

Moore, 109 

Mordecai, see Woolf, James 

Morgan, Daniel, 258 268, 276, 
304. 3IS. 370 

Morgan, James, 143 

Morgan, John, 91 

Mount, James, alias The Old Man, 
237241, 257 

Murphy, 42, 45, 

Murphy, Jeremiah, 164, 165 

Murphy, John, 164, 165 

Musquito, 23, 24, 29 

Naisk, John, 173176 

Nesbit, James, alias Lyons, 348 

Noon, see Kelly Thomas 

Nowlan, see Cashan 

Nugent, James, 167 

O'Connor, William, 205, 206 

O'Donnell, James, alias McDonald, 

William, 93 

Old Man, The, see Mount, James 
O'Meally, 212 216, 221228, 

276, 355 

O'Sullivan, Jeremiah, 173 176 
Owens, John, 279 
Paddy, Wandong, see Fitzgerald, 


Parrott, Samuel, alias Powell, 51 
Payne, John, 282, 312 
Peisley, John, 196 199, 276 



Perry, 47 

Perry, John, 52, 53 

Perry, Peter, 186 

Pickthome, William, 130, 132 

Pierce, Alexander, 3339, 73, 333 

Pilcock, 139 

Poole, John, 51 53 

Poulston, 1 86 

Power, Harry, alias Johnson, 318 

325, 341, 356, 385 
Price, John, 117, 130 
Quinn, 317 

Quinn, Thomas, 167169 
Regan, 196 

Regan, James, III 113 
Regent, 316 
Rider, Charles, 41 
Riley, James, 51 53 
Roberts, 167 

Roberts, see Gilbert, Johnny 
Roberts, Thomas, 117 
Roberts, William, 148152 
Robinson, 185 
Rogan, Thomas, 349 
Rogers, William, 161 
Ross, Alexander, 205, 206 
Ross, Charles, 195 
Ross, Charles, 205, 206 
Ruggy, Dick, seeMiddleton, Richard 
Russell, 40 

Rutherford, Charles, 298 
Ryan, 238 

Ryan, James, 5153 
Ryan, Jeremiah, 41 
Ryan, Patrick, 281 
Scotchman, The Wild, see 

Macpherson, Alpin 
Scotchy, 73 

Scott, Bill, 271274, 276 
Scott, George, alias Captain 

Moonlite, 342 350, 385 

Scott, William, 140 

Scrimshaw, William, 130, 132 

Sears, Henry, 108 no 

Seary, Michael, 232 

Seymour, 278 

Shanks, James, 352 

Shanks, Robert, 352 

Shea, Daniel, 312 

Shea, John, 87 

Shepherd, John, 280 

Simmons, William H., 313 

Simpson, William, 161 

Slater, alias Miller, 284 

Slattery, Michael, 279 

Smart, Henry, 180 

Smith, 160 

Smith, 298 

Smith, Henry, 155 

Smith, Henry, alias Brennan, 155 

Smith, James, 313 

Smith, Robert, 195 

Smith, Thomas, see McCallum, 

Frank, alias Captain Melville 
Smith, Thomas, see Cunningham 
South, John, 91 
Southgate, John, 232 
Southgate, see Kennedy, James 
Stallard, Alfred, 165 
Stanley, Frank, alias Wright, 233 
Stanmore, Charles, 296 
Stanton, Patrick, alias Jack Mack, 


Steele, Henry, 88 
Stevenson or Stephenson, Alexander, 

alias Telford, 106 
Stroud, Thomas, 161 
Suffolk, Owen, 140 
Sullivan, Daniel, 294 
Sullivan, John Joseph, 327 333 
Swallow, William, alias Waldon, 




Tattersdale, Thomas, 56, 57 

Taverner, William, 313 

Taylor, Daniel, 313 

Taylor, John, 233 

Telford, see Stevenson or Stephen- 
son, Alexander 

Thomson, see Atterill, James 

Thompson, John, 41 

Thompson, John, 295 

Thunderbolt, Captain, see Ward, 

Tierney, James, 41 

Tilly, 47 

Tracey, Thomas, 277 

Travers, Mathew, 33 36 

Underwood, Will, 55, 56 

Vandemonian, see Jepps 

Vane, 221225, 2 5 6 > 2 7 6 

Vaut, Charles, 88 

Waldon, see Swallow, William 

Walker, Isaac, 41 

Walmsley, 55, 56 

Ward, Frederick, alias Captain 
Thunderbolt, 289 302, 304, 
3I5 322, 370, 341, 385 

Watson, William, 194 

Watts, William, alias Charles or 
George Williams, 106 107 

Webb, Thomas, 233 

Webber, 55, 56 

Weekes, John, 298 

Welsh, Michael, 59 

Wernicke, Gus, 349 

Wcstwood, William, alias Jackey 
Jackey, 7178, 82, 127133 

269, 353 

Whelan, Thomas, 108 
Whitehead, 18, 19 

Whiting, Henry, 130, 132 

Whitton, 73 

Wild Scotchman, The, see Mac- 

pherson, Alpin 
Williams, 45 
Williams, Charles or George, see 

Watts, William 
Williams, George, 22 
Williams, George, 207 
Wyiiams, Herbert, see Jones, 


Williams, Jack, 96 99 
Williams, John, 155 
Williams, John, 282, 313 
Williams, Thomas, 155 
Williams, Thomas, alias Jones, 349 
Wilkinson, John, alias Wilton, 91 
Willis, William, alias Dunkley, 

298, 312 

Willison, George, 207 
Willmore, Thomas, 178180, 258 
Wilson, 93 
Wilson, 95 

Wilson, George, 164, 165 
Wilson, Harry, 288 
Wilson, John, 182 184 
Wilson, John, 277 
Woolf, James, alias Mordecai, 

Wright, John, 80 

Wright, 336 

Wright, see Stanley, Frank 
Wyndham, alias Bennett, see Gough, 

Charles Hugh 

Yankee Jack, see Ellis, John 
Young Fogarty, see Fogarty 
Young, John, alias Lowe, 155 
Young, William, 161 

A. BONNER, Printer, i and 2, 

'* Court, London. E.C 

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